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Bucks Offense Runs Wild on Cats

Bucks Offense Runs Wild on Cats

By Lance Jones

The Waterloo Bucks pounded 10 hits and scored nine runs in the first four innings en route to an 11-5 trouncing of the Thunder Bay Border Cats on Saturday night. With the win, the Bucks evened up the four game series with Thunder Bay. Waterloo (11-9) also retains top spot in the Great Plains East Division in the battle of first and last with the Cats (6-14) who are currently only five games back.

Six Bucks in the lineup had multi-hit games led by Alex Ronnebaum (Kent St.) who went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two runs batted in.

Lorenzo Elion (Iowa) got the Bucks a head start in the first with the first of his two hits. He put his third double of the campaign into right that counted Dylan Phillips (Kansas St.) and Bennett Hostetler (North Dakota St.).

Thunder Bay would answer back in the second. Nick Seamons (Nevada-Reno) whacked a triple to right to set up Andrew Shebloski (Saint Mary’s Coll.CA). Shebloski would drive in Seamons on a sac fly to draw the Cats to within one.

Two Border Cat errors set up the Bucks next two runs in the third. Ronnebaum would plate Phillips and Jake Gitter’s (Northern Colorado) fly ball to right scored Elion for a 4-1 lead. That would spell the end of Border Cats Starting Pitcher Tyler Hansen (GateWay CC). Hansen (0-2) took the loss allowing two earned runs on five hits. He struck out two in his three inning start.

The wheels fell off the Border Cats cart in the fourth. Reliever Tanner Bercier (Frank Phillips C.) got roughed up in his outing. He found the bases loaded in a hurry as back-to-back singles and walk had Bucks occupying the basepaths. Phillips would single into right to score Mike Nyisztor (Rutgers) and Matt Campos (Hawaii). A wild pitch would score another. Ronnebaum would blast a double to plate Phillips. And Gitter would make it 9-1 when his single scored Ronnebaum.

With the massive offensive explosion, Bucks starter Zach Jones (Spalding) could pitch comfortably. He ran his record to 3-1 allowing four runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

It was not until the sixth that Thunder Bay found a response. Jones found trouble allowing back-to-back singles to Karsten Vasquez (Sacramento City) and Jake Engel (Dixie St.) to start the inning. Ryne Edmodson (Houston Baptist) walked to put Cats all over the diamond. Waterloo Reliever Jack Parisi (Spalding) came in and walked Conor Allard (Nevada-Reno) with the bases loaded. The Parisi hit Alexander Hernandez (Nova Southeastern) with a baseball to bring Engel home. Bryce Jorgenson (Minnesota-Crookston) followed up with his fifth RBI of the season on a single to left. A wild pitch would bring Allard home and cut the deficit.

9-5 was as close as the Border Cats could make it on the comeback trail. The Bucks would get a two-run home run from Ronnebaum in the bottom of the sixth to round out the scoring.

Logan Hooley (Colorado Northwestern CC) pitched to only one over the minimum over the last two inning for the Border Cats.
Jimmy Smiley (Columbia) stuck out three over two innings of work with Will Christopherson (Michigan St.) and Brent Lockwood (Kansas St.) throwing shutout ball to close the game for Waterloo.

The Border Cats and Bucks play an afternoon affair in game three of the series on Sunday afternoon from Riverfront Stadium in Waterloo. This game started two hours and 26 minutes late due to a thunderstorm and rain shower that hit the Waterloo area.