The Waterloo Bucks barely made it to the ballpark on time Wednesday night as a bus malfunction cancelled their batting practice and warm up.
The Eau Claire Express might have wished the bus was never fixed, as five costly errors led to a 10-8 Express loss in front of 1,212 people at Carson Park.
The orange and black jumped out early and looked like it might make the Bucks pay for being rusty. In the bottom of the first, Drew Turbin had an two-run single scoring Brady Burzynski and Mike Porcaro. Later in the inning, Tyler Hermann scored after the Waterloo catcher threw the ball into the outfield on a play at third base to make it 3-0. But throwing the ball around became a theme of the night.
The Bucks scored one in the second and five in the the third to take a commanding 6-3 lead. Even though Express starter Aron McRee gave up those six runs, only one of them was earned. Waterloo scored once again in the top of the fourth and two more in the top of the fifth to give them nine runs with seven of them being unearned.
The Express cut into the lead in the fourth as Brent Gibbs scored on a Burzynski RBI single. Eau Claire made it interesting late, plating three in the bottom of the seventh to cut it to 9-7.
In that inning, Porcaro scored on a Turbin fielder's choice, Daniel Slaters scored on a wild pitch and Turbin scored on another wild pitch to add to the sloppiness of the game.
After the Bucks tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth, Salters hit a towering sacrifice fly to right to score Hermann in the bottom half of the inning. The rally utlimately fell short as Waterloo pitcher Adam Dian closed out the game.
Orlando Meza was rock solid in relief for Eau Claire, going 4.1 innings and only allowing one hit, one run and striking out four.
The Express fall to 11-10 on the year and 1-2 on this six-game homestand. The orange and black will send CJ Eldred to the mound tomorrow looking to split this series with Waterloo. It is Eau Claire Chamber Night, where 20 ounce sport bottles, water flavor packets, stress balls and kids goodie bags will be given out at the gates. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.