Bucks Win Season Opener

News-Slideshow-20th-LOGO-WAT---GAME-RECAPROCHESTER, MN  The Waterloo Bucks opened the 2014 season in the same fashion they played most of 2013, by earning a victory. Mikal Hill drilled a two-run homer and Brent Jurceka pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to pace the Bucks to a season opening 8-6 win over the Rochester Honkers at Mayo Field on Tuesday. Veterans David Kerian and Jake Riffice made the season opener feel like a continuation of last year by getting two hits each. Fellow veteran Adam Dian fired a clean 1-2-3 ninth inning to notch his ninth career save.

The victory gives the Bucks an early 1-0 lead in the all new SCHEELS Highway 63 Cup series between the two longtime rival franchises.

Waterloo wasted little time getting on the board as Logan Scherer came through with a RBI single in the first inning that plated Patrick Fiala from second to give the Bucks a 1-0 lead.

Hill extended the lead in the top of the second when he pulled a pitch over the rightfield wall for a two-run homer and it was 3-0.

Rochester rallied in the bottom of the second off Waterloo starter Nick Veale, scoring four runs and sending 10 batters to the plate, highlighted by a two-run home run by Travis Evanson. Despite the rough second inning, Veale would last 4 2/3 innings and pick up six strikeouts in his Northwoods League debut.

The Bucks reclaimed the lead for good in the top of the third off Rochester starter Brandon Zywicki by batting around the order themselves and scoring five runs. Waterloo did it with just two hits, but were helped by three Honkers' errors in the inning.

Kerian started the inning with a single followed by walks to Steven Goldstein and Scherer that loaded the bases with no outs. Zach Fricke then came up and hit a ground ball that was booted by the second basemen that scored the tying run and made the score 4-4.

Riffice followed with a two-run single and the Bucks were up 6-4 with a throwing error setting up a Robert Swenson sacrifice fly and it was 7-4.

Veale, hitting for himself then put the ball in play that resulted in another infield error, another run, and the Bucks led 8-4.

Rochester would scratch out a run on wild pitches in the third and fifth innings to pull to 8-6, but the Honkers rally was stopped there.