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Published On: June 8th, 2015

The Bucks let a four-run lead slip away to split the road-series with the Express. Zach McKinstry (Central Michigan) moved his hitting streak to six games with a three-run homerun in the loss.

Box Score

By: Matt Gruemmer, Waterloo Bucks

EAU CLAIRE, WI – Two runs surrendered by the Waterloo defense in each the sixth, seventh and eighth innings proved to be the difference Monday night as the Bucks (9-5) dropped a 9-7 decision to the Eau Claire Express (5-9) in Carson Park. After early scores built Waterloo a 7-3 advantage, the offense could not muster any runs following the sixth frame of action. Zach McKinstry (Central Michigan) provided Waterloo with a three-run homerun over the wall in left while Adam McGinnins (Western Illinois) plated teammate Mikal Hill (Winston-Salem St.) twice in the losing effort. Nathan Spielvogel (0-2) (Marrimack) picked up the loss after allowing the go-ahead runs in the eighth inning.

The Bucks got on the board early with a 1-0 lead in the second when McGinnis belted in Hill with a single to right field.

In the fourth frame, McGinnis again plated Hill, this time scoring the Bucks’ shortstop with a sacrifice flyout to deep right. Hill reached after a one-out error made by the Express infield to begin the chance, and put the Bucks up, 2-0.

Eau Claire overtook the lead in the bottom of the fourth with three runs. Tanner DeVinney (Grayson CC) crossed the plate on a wild pitch while Brady Burzynski (UW-Stout) lifted the team in front with a two-run single in the inning.

Waterloo starter Tyler Day (Stephen F. Austin) exited early with one out in the fourth after allowing a double and a walk to start the frame. Day took a no-decision after allowing two runs on three hits over 3 1/3 innings pitched.

Brent Jurceka (Evansville) took over in the fourth and recorded the final two outs for the Bucks, but not before the Express grabbed a one-run lead. On the night, the reliever surrendered two earned runs on two hits while walking three and striking out one.

McKinstry quickly sent Waterloo back in front with a three-run homerun over the wall in right field in the fifth. The tape measure blast, McKinstry’s second of the year, gave the Bucks a 5-3 lead and marked his sixth consecutive game with a base-hit.

The offense continued to click for the Bucks in the sixth with two more runs. McGinnis opened the threat with a one-out ground-rule double down the line in right and was brought in to score by a Weston Hatten (Washington St.) two-bagger to right field. Joseph Shepherd (Murray St. College) allowed Hatten to make it a 7-3 score after his sacrifice-bunt attempt was airmailed over the first base bag for an error with two outs.

The Express cut into the deficit to 7-5 with two runs in the bottom of the sixth off run-scoring singles hit by Daulton Varsho (Milwaukee) and Tyler Jones (Air Force).

Sean Martens (Central Michigan) entered on the mound for Waterloo in the sixth with no outs and runners at first and second base. The right-hander labored through one inning of work where he gave up three runs on three hits along with two walks and a strikeout, and exited in the bottom of the seventh after allowing the game-tying hit.

Tyler Adkinson (San Diego St.) squared things up, 7-7, with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the seventh. The two-run shot was followed by a walk and a pitching change for the Bucks with no outs in the inning.

Nathan Spielvogel (0-2) came to the hill in the seventh and got out of the jam with a double-play flyout and a strikeout. The reliever took the loss on the night after allowing the two go-ahead runs in the eighth on three hits. Spielvogel tossed two total innings and recorded four hits, one walk and a strikeout in the bullpen stint.

Eau Claire went back on top for good, 9-7, in the bottom of the eighth after DeVinney hit a solo homerun and Travon Benton (New Mexico JC) singled in Adkinson.  

Waterloo returns home Tuesday to face Thunder Bay with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. 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 You can also visit the Bucks Ticket Office at Riverfront Stadium or call 319-232-5633.

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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