ROCHESTER, MN The Waterloo Bucks salvaged a split, and secured the inaugural SCHEELS Highway 63 Cup Series, with a 6-4 victory over the Rochester Honkers on Wednesday night at Mayo Field. Coming just hours after the Bucks had been felled by Rochester 6-4 at home the Bucks led wire-to-wire to bounce back.
Blake Berger drove in two runs, including hitting his first homer to lead the Bucks at the plate. Nick Veale and Colin Wendinger combined for the win with Veale going the first five and Wendinger throwing four shutdown innings of relief for the save.
With the win, the Bucks take the season series from Rochester 5-3 and get possession of the SCHEELS Highway 63 Cup until next year.
The Bucks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a Kevin Kaczmarski RBI infield single and a wild pitch that allowed another run to score. The Kaczmarski hit extends his hitting streak to 16 games with a batting average of .365 and 23 RBI over that span.
Rochester answered back with a run in the first, but Veale was able to strand the tying runner at third.
In the top of the fourth, Berger led off with a home run to right center giving the Bucks a 3-1 lead. Later in the inning, Pat MacKenzie would score from second on Will Sparks' triple off the left field wall and it was 4-1.
Rochester cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth, but the in the fifth the Bucks pushed the margin again. Connor McClain doubled and would later score on a Berger sacrifice fly to left and it was 5-2.
Again Rochester came back in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 5-3, however Mikal Hill led off the eighth with a line drive homer to right making it 6-3 and icing the game.
While Rochester would get a solo homer in the ninth from Corey Hassel, his second long ball of the game, the Honkers never brought the tying run up to bat in the eighth or ninth innings of Wendinger.
Wendinger gave the Bucks their first save since before the All-Star Break and is the first Buck other than Adam Dian to register a save since June 29th.