Duluth, MN – The Duluth Huskies were in second place and a half game behind the Willmar Stingers for first coming into tonight. Sitting in fourth were the Waterloo Bucks at three games back. If they are going to get back in the division title race, they will have to win this series if not sweep it. Tonight, they took the first step in doing so by defeating the Huskies 10-8. Waterloo now sits at 11-12 and 30-28 overall. Duluth falls to 13-11 and 32-26 on the summer.
Tyler Foote (Princeton) was starting and making his first appearance for the Bucks tonight in Duluth. In the bottom of the 1st, he walked the first batter who advanced to second on a passed ball one out later. That runner scored on a double and that was all for Foote who went just a third of an inning and left because of an injury. Then came Michael Edlefsen who one out later, gave up a two-run home run to Brian Hansen, his first of the summer to give the Huskies a 3-0 lead early. One of those runs was charged to Foote while the other went on Edlefsen’s line.
Waterloo stormed back in their half of the 2nd. Kevin Kaczmarski started things off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a fly out to right by Dan Sheppard. Jordan Adams then reached on a strike three wild pitch and that allowed Kaczmarski to score and get the blue and yellow on the board. They weren’t done though as Duluth switched pitchers from Evan Geist to Jack English.
Davis Hendrickson got on with a free pass and Nico Zych singled to load up the bases. That was the first of five consecutive singles from the Bucks as they went station to station. The next four each scored a run a piece and came from Connor McClain, Thomas Lindauer, Benny Roberts, and Austin Barrett. An RBI ground out from Kaczmarski put the guests up 6-3.
In the top of the 4th, Kaczmarski singled with out and moved to second when Sheppard walked. Then came Hendrickson who reached on an error by the pitcher and Kaczmarski came around from second to score and put Waterloo up by a score of 7-3.
The hosts began to assert themselves in the bottom of the 4th when the first two runners of the inning reached. Edlefsen was then able to induce a 6-4-3 double play for the first two outs while a runner advanced to third. However, the next batter reached on an error by the shortstop, Lindauer and that allowed a run to score and make it 7-4. Treysen Vavra then stepped in and hit a two-run shot to cut the deficit to just one run at 7-6 and knock Edlefsen out of the game.
Shane Trattles was then asked to come in and stop the bleeding. He walked the first batter he faced but got the next one to groundout and end the inning.
The Bucks scored an insurance run in the top of the 5th. McClain reached on a walk with one out. Roberts then hit a ball back to the pitcher who slipped when turning to throw it to second in an effort to roll a double play. He instead chose to take the easy out at first but threw it wide of first allowing Roberts to reach and McClain to reach third. Then during Barrett’s at-bat, Roberts would reach second and McClain would score on a wild pitch to make the score 8-6 in favor of the visitors. After Barrett walked, the Huskies switched pitchers and brought in Josh Mooney who was able to get out of the inning without surrendering any more runs.
In their half of the 6th, Waterloo got the first two runners on when Adams walked and Hendrickson singled. They would both advance a base on a passed ball during Zych’s at-bat. McClain then walked to load them up for Lindauer who reached on an error by the second baseman bringing in Adams and making it 9-6. That was the third error of the game for the home team.
Duluth brought a run across in the sixth on an RBI double to make it 9-7. That run was the first Trattles gave up although it was unearned because the runner reached on an error by the shortstop. That was the end of Trattles outing as the Bucks brought in Justin Grijalva who did his job by getting the third out and keep the lead at two runs.
An RBI double from Sheppard in the 7th to bring in Barrett made the score 10-7. In their half of the 7th, the Huskies loaded up the bases with one out and in came Mikey Ramirez. Ramirez would get the final two outs with a fielder’s choice at home and a strikeout.
The Huskies got one back in the 9th but that is how the score would end up at 10-8 in favor of the Bucks.
Shane Trattles receives the win and moves to 1-0 while Brett Andrzejewski gets his first save of the season. Geist takes the loss and his record drops to 4-5.
Next up is the second game of this series on Tuesday with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Keep checking into www.waterloobucks.com for all your latest information on The Cedar Valley’s Home Team.