Duluth, MN – Much like they did so often early in the season, the Bucks used a big 4th inning to defeat their opponent. They put up a six spot and it was the only inning they scored in. That is all that was needed though as Duluth was only able to put up four runs even though they had three more hits (9-6). Waterloo’s bullpen pitched six innings of one-run ball to help solidify the win and a 2-1 much-needed series win. With the victory, the Bucks are now 31-29 overall including 12-13 this half of the season and sit in fourth place, four games back of Willmar. The Huskies fall to 14-12 in the second half and sit 2.5 back of the first place Stingers.
The home team was the first to get on the board in the bottom of the 2nd against the starter for Waterloo, Jake Powers. The Missouri State product gave up a solo home run to Michael Suiter, his seventh of the summer.
Duluth would add to that lead in the bottom of the 3rd when the blue and yellow were a little sloppy defensively. The first batter was retired on a routine groundout. The next batter reached on an error by the first baseman, Jordan Adams. The next Husky hit a double to put two runners in scoring position followed by an RBI single to keep runners at the corners. Powers then hit a batter to load them up. On the next play, third baseman Connor McClain made an error that allowed a run to score and put the home team up by a score of 3-0.
The starter for the Huskies, Max MacNabb retired nine of the first ten batters he faced and was in complete control until the 4th inning rolled around and the bats came to life for Waterloo. Benny Roberts was hit by a pitch to start things off and the next batter, Austin Barrett singled. Kevin Kaczmarski walked to load up the bases for Dan Sheppard who came through with an RBI single and the bases remained full of Bucks. Adams then made up for the mistake he made in the 3rd with a bases-clearing double to give the guests a 4-3 advantage.
That would do it for MacNabb who gave way to A.J. McElderry. McElderry hit the first batter he faced, Davis Hendrickson. That was the second hit batsman of the inning. Hendrickson and Adams moved up to second and third after a Nico Zych sacrifice. Two more runs scored on a double from McClain making up for his 3rd inning error as well. Through three and a half, the visitors led 6-3. All six of those runs were charged to MacNabb. McElderry did allow two runs to score but wasn’t responsible for them and ended up pitching two shutout innings. Jonny Skura then came in and pitched a scoreless half of the 6th.
Conan Leon began his outing in the bottom of the 4th after Powers left because of a high pitch count. Leon threw two shutout innings in the 4th and 5th and was relieved by Justin Grijalva in the bottom of the 6th. Grijalva went on to pitch a scoreless two innings.
In the bottom of the 8th against Michael Edlefsen, Duluth scored for the first time since the 2nd. They cut the deficit to two, 6-4 with an RBI double but stranded three Edlefsen escaped the inning with the bases loaded and a two-run lead still intact.
The Huskies reached base with their first two runners in the bottom of the 9th. Edlefsen then left the game and in came lefty, Chris Dunn. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners up. Dunn then struck out the next two batters to end the game and give Waterloo a 6-4 victory.
Leon gets the win and is 1-0 with Dunn getting his second save of 2012. MacNabb takes the loss and is now 3-3.
Adams led the way with his three-run double while McClain also chipped in two RBI.
Next up, the Bucks return home for the first time since July 19 to take on the Rochester Honkers in a three-game set. All three games are slated to start at 6:35 p.m. Thursday’s game is a Double Buck Night powered by Casey’s General Store and Cool 105.7. $2 admission coupons are available from Casey’s and Cool 105.7. There will be $2 beer, $2 hot dogs, $2 popcorn, and $1 fountain soda available all game long. Keep checking back into www.waterloobucks.com for all your latest information on The Cedar Valley’s Home Team.