Willmar, MN Despite three hits from Pat MacKenzie and two hits each from Steven Goldstein and Jon McAllister the Waterloo Bucks dropped a 6-3 decision at the Willmar Stingers on Tuesday night. The loss puts the Bucks at 4-4 in the second half, 1.5 games behind Eau Claire will still a month to go in the regular season.
Jack Ross led the Willmar offense with three hits, three runs scored and also made a highlight reel diving catch in the right field warning track late in the game.
The Bucks broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning on a two-out, two-run double to center field by Zack Soria. However, the Bucks missed an opportunity to expand the lead in the fifth when they loaded the bases with no outs on singles by MacKenzie, McAllister and Will Sparks but didn't score.
Willmar came right back to tie the game in the home half of the fifth inning and the game remained tied 3-3 until the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Willmar took the lead for good.
Ross led off with a single and then with one out Dan Motl doubled and Brian Pruett walked to load the bases. Reagan Fowler came up and hit a hard smash down the first base line that scored two and gave the Stingers the 5-3 lead. Willmar added another later in the inning on an infield error and it was 6-3.
Waterloo had one last chance in the ninth when Mikal Hill and MacKenzie had back-to-back singles to start the frame but a double play killed the rally and the Bucks' comeback hopes.
Garrett Anderson threw the final three innings for the win for Willmar while the Bucks Nick Deckert took the loss with 6.1 innings of work. He allowed five runs on nine hits while striking out three.
The Bucks finished the game with 12 hits, but went 2-14 with runners in scoring position.