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Jody Gerut grew up in Chicago so he knows how cold early season baseball can be.

But it's never been this cold.

"I had ice in my glove, ice in my hat, ice in my cleats," Gerut said.

"I had ice in my cleats," he said again, just to add the emphasis. "It was unbelievable today."

Miserable weather made for a miserable game.

But the Bisons will gladly take their 10-8 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox in the season opener Thursday afternoon before an estimated crowd of 8,000 at Dunn Tire Park.

The cold and freezing rain contributed to sloppy play. The teams combined for five errors, four wild pitches, 16 walks and 20 hits.

With the score tied at 8-8 in the seventh inning, Gerut had a two-run double to give the Bisons the win.

"I was surprised by all the offense today," Gerut said. "They're not good conditions to do much of anything. Pitching would be just as tough to do in weather like this, so we're real excited."

Nothing was much fun on the field, especially for the men on the mound.

Dave Elder, who got the save working the eight and ninth inning, said he took about 40 pitches to warm up when he normally takes about 15.

All in all, a pretty wacky but memorable first game for new manager Marty Brown.

"The umpire's mask had ice on it and the grass was frozen where I was standing," Brown said. "Some of the guys were talking that it was the coldest game they ever played. I think I played in one colder and it was at this ballpark."

Down 3-1, the Bisons put together a seven-run fifth inning, bringing 13 batters to the plate. The Herd started the inning with three straight hits, with a double by Victor Martinez driving in Coco Crisp. Zach Sorensen scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 3-3.

Luis Garcia had a two-run single while Jhonny Peralta, Scott Pratt and Sorensen, in his second at-bat of the inning, each added an RBI single. By the end of the inning, the Herd had an 8-3 lead.

But Pawtucket pulled within one in the sixth. A pair of wild pitches by reliever Aaron Myette moved former Bison Earl Snyder to third after a leadoff walk. Snyder scored on a one-out single by Adrian Brown, the only hit of the inning. Andy Abad scored on a ground out. An error by Sorensen allowed two more runs to score making it 8-7.

Pawtucket tied the game in the seventh when former Bison Chris Coste lead off with a single and scored on a wild pitch by Jason Boyd.

"It was so cold I was just like, well, OK, they're doing it but let's just end the inning and go in and get warm a little bit," Gerut said. "It wore on us a little bit seeing a team come back after you buried them 8-3. That's intimidating."

The speedy and powerful Bisons aren't easily deterred. Though Gerut had the game-winning RBI, contributions came from throughout the lineup.

"We've got a lot of good players and a lot of players are going to stand out, but we're going to wear that pitcher down," Gerut said. "We're going to wait for our pitch. There are no selfish players on this team and that's why it's going to be fun."

The Bisons opened the scoring in the second inning when Garcia reached on an error, moved to third on a single by Greg LaRocca and scored when Scott Pratt hit into a fielder's choice.

Pawtucket evened the game in the fourth when Coste singled home Julio Zuleta.

The Pawsox took a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning on a two-run homer by Lou Collier against Buffalo starter Brian Tallet.

There won't be a repeat tonight. The game was postponed and will be played as part of a double-header Sunday that will start at 12:30 p.m.
e-mail: amoritz@buffnews.com