Mankato, MN – In four games against the MoonDogs this season, the Bucks have allowed over 11 runs per game with one game to go in this three-game set. Mankato has overtaken Waterloo as the highest scoring team in the Northwoods League and have dominated the entire North Division the first half of the season. With the 15-9 loss, the Bucks fall to 19-15 and find themselves in third place in the division after Willmar’s win in Alexandria. The MoonDogs improve to 27-7 with one first half game remaining for both teams.
The blue and yellow struck first in the top of the second inning on a pair of RBI singles from Riley Good and Jason Hockemeyer. The hosts answered with a four spot in the bottom of the frame. Trailing 4-2, the visitors tied things up in the fourth inning. Sean Borman and Freddy Villalobos began the inning with back-to-back singles and one out later, Hockemeyer scored Borman with an RBI double. The next batter, Nico Zych brought in Villalobos with a groundout.
However, Waterloo was unable to keep up with the scoring of the first half North Division champions who scored five more in the bottom of the fourth and led 9-4. The Bucks would bring across two more in the top of the fifth when Benny Roberts reached on an error allowing Kevin Kaczmarski to score. Austin Barrett would then score on a groundout from Borman. The MoonDogs ran away with it in the later innings scoring one in the fifth, two in the sixth, one in the seventh, and two in the eighth to take a commanding 15-6 advantage.
Villalobos tried his best to keep the Bucks in it with a three-run home run in the top of the ninth to cut the deficit to six. That has how it stood though as Mankato took a 15-9 decision.
Micah Bryan (2-3) got the start but pitched better than his line indicates. Bryan threw 4.1 innings while giving up ten runs, only four of which earned on eight hits while striking out six and walking two. Waterloo had three errors on the night which led to so much damage. In relief, Ty Taylor (Oklahoma) was making his debut for Waterloo. Taylor went two and two thirds innings and gave up three runs on four hits while striking out one and walking none. To finish it out, Chris Dunn threw an inning, gave up two runs and struck out and walked one a piece.
Kyle McGrath’s past two starts have come against the Bucks and both have been wins as he is now 4-1 on the season.
Villalobos led the way with three RBI and Hockemeyer tallied two while Borman scored twice on the evening.
Next up is the final game of this series as well of the first half with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. The second half of the season then begins in Waterloo at Riverfront Stadium when the Bucks take on the Willmar Stingers. First pitch will be at 6:35 p.m. with a fireworks extravaganza to follow. Keep checking back into www.waterloobucks.com for all your latest information on The Cedar Valley’s Home Team.