Thunder Bay rallied for five two-out runs in the sixth to take their first contest at Riverfront Stadium since 2012.
By: Matt Gruemmer, Waterloo Bucks
WATERLOO, IOWA – The Waterloo Bucks (10-6) could not survive a five-run sixth inning off the bats of the Thunder Bay Border Cats (9-6) in a 5-2 decision Wednesday night at Riverfront Stadium. With a no-hitter entering the sixth frame, Bucks’ starter Brian Drapeau (2-1) (Long Island) took the loss on the night after surrendering two runs in the frame on one hit and a hit batsman. A night after recording a new season-high in hits, the Waterloo offense was kept in check with five total hits behind a strong start from Border Cat hurler Julian Loret de Mola (Nova Southeastern).
Luke Stratman (Lamar CC) scored both Waterloo runs and tallied two hits and two base on balls in the losing effort. The loss marked the first game the Bucks have dropped to Thunder Bay at Riverfront Stadium since July 13, 2012.
For the fourth game in a row, the Bucks got on the scoreboard first. This time, it was Stratman coming across for a 1-0 lead on a Taylor Boyd (St. Joseph’s) groundball that was fielded for an error with two outs.
Thunder Bay got into both the hitting and scoring column with five runs on five hits in the sixth, all on two outs. Joe Gellenbeck (Xavier) started the rally with his first of two singles on the evening. After Nate Steger (Winston-Salem St.) was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base, Waterloo’s starting pitcher exited the game.
Drapeau (2-1) took the loss on the night and left with two outs in the top of the sixth. The starter surrendered two runs on one hit while walking three, hitting three with pitches and striking out five in his fourth start of the year.
Joe Martinson (Minnesota) took over with two on and two out in the sixth and could not get out of the jam. The right-hander did not record an out on the mound and gave up three runs on three hits while walking one in the inning.
Trailing 4-1, still with two outs in the sixth, the Bucks tabbed Nick Veale (Minnesota St.) out of the bullpen for the second night in a row. Veale took a base-hit off the body to allow Mike Palladino (Quinnipiac) to score before recording the final out. The reliever scattered four total hits over the outing while finishing the ballgame for Waterloo. On the night, Veale lasted 3 1/3 scoreless innings while scattering four hits and striking out three.
The Bucks offense left the bases-loaded in the bottom of the eighth, but could not provide an answer after the big sixth inning. Waterloo dropped the game, 5-2, in the ninth to split the series opener with the Border Cats at home.
Waterloo hits the road Thursday to open a four-game trek to Michigan. The Bucks will play in Kalamazoo on both Thursday and Friday and then travel to Battle Creek for contests on Saturday and Sunday before returning to Riverfront Stadium.
The Bucks play at home next on Monday, June 15, against the Mankato MoonDogs. Get your tickets now for another Monday: Buck Nights.
Every Monday home game, get regular hot dogs for just $1.50, plus 10 oz. draft beer, 12 oz. sodas, small popcorn, and ice cream sandwiches are just $1 each, sponsored by K98.5.
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.