Duluth (MN) A late Waterloo Bucks’ rally fell short in a 6-4 loss at the Duluth Huskies on Tuesday night. Waterloo trailed by as much as 5-2 but came back to be in a position where a base hit could’ve tied the game in the ninth inning before ultimately losing for the first time since June 15.

The Bucks had won a season best eight straight before the loss.

Despite the loss, Waterloo stays in first place in the Northwoods League’s North Division by 1/2 game over Willmar with eight-games remaining. The Bucks’ magic number to secure their first postseason appearance since 2002 remains at eight..

Trailing 6-4 entering the top of the ninth, the Bucks quickly had two outs but back-to-back singles by Jake Mahon and Kyle Pollock kept the game going. Connor McClain was hit by a pitch and the Bucks’ had the bases loaded but Duluth’s Nate Garza got Austin Pernell to pop out to left field to end the game.

The teams traded runs in the second inning but Duluth took the lead for good in the fourth inning. Brad Wilson laced a two-out, two-run single through the left side to put the Huskes’ up 3-1.

Waterloo inched closer in the fifth with David Kerian’s RBI double to the left centerfield gap, but Duluth answered back with a run in the fifth and another in the sixth to make it 5-2. The Bucks scored single runs in the seventh and eighth to pull to within 5-4.

Unfortunately, Duluth scored an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on a Keith Curcio RBI base hit and held on for the 6-4 victory.

Kerian drove in two runs on two hits while Pat MacKenzie added two hits for the Bucks.

Waterloo starting pitcher Landon Simpson went the first five innings allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out four. Drasen Johnson allowed two runs with three strikeouts over the last three innings.