Lowly Anchors Cannot Moor Bucks, Who Now Have A Winning Streak
If a manager is going to utilize the intentional walk as a part of their strategy, it is important to know who the next batter is in the order. Consider the Blue Anchors (13-37) uninformed.
In the eighth inning, Alexandria pitcher Austin Smith pitched around Will Sparks to load the bases and bring up red-hot hitting Kevin Kaczmarski. The idea was to force a lefty-lefty matchup, one that would favor the pitcher. The problem that manager and former Twins World Series Winner Al Newman did not realize, though, is that Kaczmarski is slugging .484 against left handed pitching on the season. Sparks, while an All Star, slug only .362 against lefties.
Kaczmarski promptly turned on a hanging breaking ball, smashing a grand slam into the cemetery behind the right field wall. The fans were on their feet as soon as the ball left the bat. The grand slam was the first for the Bucks since June 15th of 2012.
The Kaczmarski grand slam resulted in insurance runs, as the Bucks did all the necessary scoring in the fourth inning, paving the way to a 6-1 victory.
The Bucks struggled to score runs most of the night, due in large part to tremendous defense from Anchors' second baseman Cam Duzenack and shortstop Craig Nennig. Both middle infielders made WebGem caliber plays with Bucks' runners in scoring position.
Starter Cody Sedlock tossed another rock solid outing, allowing one run and five hits over six innings. He walked two, while fanning seven. The victory, Sedlock's fourth, puts him in a tie with Adam Bray for the team lead.
Alexandria's starter Andrew Thome took the loss after allowing two runs over three innings. The loss is his first in what is a lost season for the last place Anchors. Thome left in the fourth inning after taking a line drive off of his foot from the bat of catcher Blake Berger. The ball rocketed straight up in the air, eventually resulting in the second Bucks run of the game.
A head scratching situation occurred following Thome's injury and removal from the game. Alexandria attempted to substitute in a pitcher who was not on the active roster. During his warm up tosses, someone alerted the umpires of the gaff, and Alexandria was forced to bring in another pitcher.
The win moves the Bucks to within one game of Eau Claire in the standings, in the quest for the second and final playoff spot. Currently residing in third place, the Bucks can afford to trail only Willmar in the North division standings if they are to make the playoffs for the second straight year.
The Bucks and Anchors square off again on Friday at 7:05 p.m., with Landon Simpson taking the ball for Waterloo. His counterpart for Alexandria will be Sean Terres. Waterloo will attempt to win their third straight contest as the season winds down.