Zach McKinstry (Central Michigan) went 4-for-5 and scored two runs as the Bucks dropped their third contest in a row. The loss sent Waterloo out of first place in the Northern Division of the Northwoods League for the first time in 2015.
By: Matt Gruemmer, Waterloo Bucks
WATERLOO, Iowa – The Waterloo Bucks fell to second place in the Northern Division standings following their second consecutive one-run affair with the Duluth Huskies Thursday night at Riverfront Stadium, a 5-4 decision in 10 innings. With one out in the bottom of the tenth, and the game-tying runner at third base, the Bucks were unsuccessful in bringing in the score as they were stymied for the third day in a row. With wins by both St. Cloud and Rochester on the evening, the Bucks dropped to a half game out of first place, trailing the top position for the first time this season.
Zach McKinsty (Central Michigan) had a big night at the plate where he tallied four hits, drove in two runs and crossed the plate twice against the Huskies. Starting pitcher Preston Church (Western Illinois) tossed five innings and allowed two runs off four hits while walking three and striking out a pair in the no-decision effort. Nathan Spielvogel (Marrimack) took the loss out of the bullpen after yielding two runs, one earned, on three hits and a walk in his third appearance on the young season.
Duluth plated the game’s first run in the top of the third to take a 1-0 lead. After Cal Stevenson (Nevada) singled and scored in the inning, the Bucks’ shortstop Mikal Hill (Winston-Salem St.) got Waterloo out of a bases-loaded jam with a 6-4-3 double play.
Three runs in bottom of the fifth sent Waterloo in front, 3-1. McKinstry doubled in Taylor Boyd (St. Joseph’s) and Joseph Shepherd (Murray St. College) to grab the lead, and he later scored on an Alex Boxwell (Minnesota) single into right field in the frame.
The Huskies responded with a run in the sixth when Alex Wojciechowski (Minn.-Duluth) scored on Dominic Miroglio’s (San Francisco) hard-hit double to the gap in left-center. Waterloo starter Preston Church exited after walking Wojciechowski to open the inning, and Nick Veale (Minnesota St.-Mankato) closed out the frame with the Bucks in front, 3-2.
Veale tossed two shutout innings of relief where he gave up just two hits, one of which was Miroglio’s double-bagger in the sixth.
In the top of the eighth, Duluth regained the lead, 4-3, after scoring two runs on one hit and one error. Matt McLaughlin (Kansas) plated a run with a bases-loaded groundout to second to tie the game, 3-3. In the next at-bat, Jean Figueroa (West Florida) scored on an error at shortstop to put the Huskies in front by a run.
Derringer Huff (South Dakota St.) toed the rubber to begin the eighth, but quickly exited after walking his first batter and falling behind 3-0 in the count to the next. The reliever was charged with one run and did not record an out in his second game of the year.
Nathan Spielvogel (0-1) took over for the Bucks in the eighth and pitched into extra innings before taking the loss in the game. On the night, Spielvogel allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits while walking one over the span of three innings on the mound.
Waterloo evened the score, 4-4, in the bottom of the eighth when Tyler Selesky (Florida Gulf Coast) brought in McKinstry with a one-out sacrifice fly to deep right field. Alex Boxwell (Minnesota) was doubled up at second base, 9-6, during the next play, a fly out to right from Mark Hernandez (Long Island), to end the scoring opportunity.
Duluth captured the game-winning run in the top of the tenth when Jimmy Heck (Minn.-Duluth) singled in Figueroa to take the 5-4 advantage. McKinstry tallied an infield single in the bottom of the frame for Waterloo and moved all the way to third base, but, ultimately, could not be brought in to push the game any further.
The Bucks will hit the road Friday to begin their first four-game road trip of the season. Friday night opens the first of a two-game series with the Mankato MoonDogs beginning at 7:05 p.m. Then, the Bucks travel to Eau Claire to face the Express on Sunday and Monday to close the trek.
Waterloo returns home June 9 to face Thunder Bay. Next Tuesday marks a Two For Tuesday promotion. Follow the Bucks on Facebook or their email newsletter for a buy one ticket get one FREE offer for Tuesday home games. One lucky fan will win a pair of Minnesota Twins tickets given away at every Tuesday home game.
Tickets are available at waterloobucks.com. You can also visit the Bucks Ticket Office at Riverfront Stadium or call 319-232-5633.
Bucks games are broadcast live on waterloobucks.com
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The Waterloo Bucks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball in 2015, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League Website. For more information, visit www.waterloobucks.com.