Offense Erupts For 14 Hits as Rox Sweep Series With Bucks
Waterloo, IA – Despite falling behind early, the St. Cloud Rox were able to put up a season-high run total as they beat the Waterloo Bucks 11-6 Tuesday night at Riverfront Stadium. Chris Paul led the way for the Rox, going 3-for-5 with a homerun while driving in three runs and also scoring twice. Paul was named the Northwoods League Player of the Night, marking the second consecutive night a Rox player received a league-wide award after Austin Caspersen was named Pitcher of the Night in Monday’s matchup.
For the second night in a row, most of the run production came from the top-third of the lineup, as Bradley Strong and Eric Loxtercamp each had two hits, as well as driving in two runs apiece. Will Craig drew a bases loaded walk for his second RBI of the year and Garrett McMullen took the team-lead in RBIs, driving in a pair on a third inning double to give him eight on the year.
The Rox (6-2) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning off Paul’s homerun to straight away left field on a 3-2 pitch by Waterloo starter Tim Shannon. In the bottom of the first, great defense by St. Cloud’s infield preserved the one-run lead, as Craig snagged a line drive at first and Paul started a double play that got St. Cloud’s starting pitcher Troy Whitty out of the inning.
The Bucks (3-5) would get on the board in the second though, as four Waterloo hits resulted in four runs, including a two-run triple by Mikal Hill, before the Rox offense caught fire.
Charles Galiano got the first of his two hits to lead things off for St. Cloud in the top of the third, later coming around to score on a bases loaded single by Paul for his second hit of the night. After Craig walked to score Strong and Mitchell Kranson flied out to right, McMullen doubled home two runs to put the Rox ahead 5-4, a lead they would not relinquish.
Paul tallied his third RBI of the game on a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning as he hit a ground ball to Hill at short that the Bucks middle infielder picked up and tried to get two outs, but instead got nothing on the play. St. Cloud added four more in the fifth on back-to-back two-run doubles by Strong and Loxtercamp, putting the score at 10-4.
Waterloo added two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but solid relief appearances by Patrick Van Daalwyk (W, 1-0) and Ben Lumsden kept Waterloo off the scoreboard from that point forward.
Kevin Burgee pitched a spotless ninth inning with a pair of strikeouts, giving him six shutout innings on the year and tying Reese Gregory for the team lead with 11 strikeouts as the Rox took the second consecutive game from Waterloo by a final score of 11-6.
The Rox now head back to St. Cloud Wednesday for a midweek contest with the Alexandria Blue Anchors, before going back on the road for one game with Alexandria Thursday night. Wednesday will be Rox Baseball Cap Giveaway Night at Joe Faber Field, presented by PreferredOne, and the first 350 fans will receive a special edition Rox cap.