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Berger’s Long Balls Lead Bucks to Win

ALEXANDRIA, MN  Blake Berger drilled a pair of homers and had three RBI to lead the Waterloo Bucks to a 10-2 win at the Alexandria Blue Anchors on Thursday night. The victory moves the Bucks even closer to securing the North Division's second playoff spot as the team maintains a 1.5 lead over Mankato and Willmar with three to play.

The Bucks could secure a playoff spot as early as Friday with a win and a Mankato loss.

On Thursday, the Bucks didn't waste time striking for three runs in the second inning on a David Kerian line drive lead off homer, followed by RBI singles from Berger and Ryan Nagle later in the inning. Will Sparks led off the third inning with a fly ball homer over the short center field fence to make it 4-0.

Alexandria would get a run back in the bottom of the third but Bucks' starter Eric Veglahn was clutch all night as he scattered seven hits over five innings. He had seven strikeouts including some very big ones. In the second inning, he struck out the last two batters to strand a runner at third and in the third inning, stranded runners at second and third with back-to-back strikeouts again.

Waterloo extended the lead to 5-1 in the fifth, before Berger led off the sixth inning with a home run to make it 6-1. Berger again hit a lead off home run in the eighth and the score was 7-1. Sparks picked up another RBI single later in the inning to make it 8-1 before Alexandria would get a run back in their half to make the score 8-2.

The Bucks added two more in the ninth to make the final score 10-2.

Berger finished with three hits, a personal high, while Sparks had four hits with two RBI. The Bucks had 15 hits and played flawlessly in the field with zero errors.

Veglahn earned the win on the mound with five innings of work, before Derek Burkamper threw two scoreless innings of relief. TJ Peterson pitched the eighth and Matt Behounek tossed a scoreless ninth to complete the win.