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Early offense drives Bucks past Rox

Zach Soria (Florida International) drove in two and scored a run as Waterloo ended a four-game skid against St. Cloud. All five Waterloo runs were scored on two-outs.

Box Score

WATERLOO, Iowa – The Waterloo Bucks (14-12) utilized four early-inning runs to move past St. Cloud (14-10) in a 5-3 decision Saturday night from Riverfront Stadium. Zach Soria (Florida International) scored in the first inning and provided a two-run single in the second while Taylor Lane (Florida) smashed a solo homerun for his first hit as a Buck in the win. The Waterloo offense plated all five runs with two outs to halt St. Cloud’s four-game winning streak.

Waterloo’s pitching staff was excellent on the night as Brian Drapeau (3-1) (Long Island) took the win over six strong innings of one-run ball. Also, Charlie Naso, Jr. (Illinois) earned the save after allowing one run and one hit over the final 2 2/3 of the game. The win evened the series, 2-2, against the Rox on the season.

Ryan Nagle (Illinois) smashed the Bucks in front, 1-0, in the bottom of the first with an RBI-double off the wall in right to score Soria on two outs.

Waterloo shuffled three more across the plate in the second to go up, 4-0. In his first Waterloo start, Lane (Florida) led off the frame by reaching on an errant ground ball to third base, and later scored on Zach McKinstry’s (Central Michigan) run-scoring single to left field.

Then, Soria split the gap between first and second base for a two-run single that brought in Matthew Stemper (Minnesota) and Luke Stratman (Lamar CC) for the four-run advantage.

The Rox got on the board in the fourth when Joe Tietjen (UNC-Asheville) doubled in Michael Strem (Boston College) to cut into the deficit, 4-1.

Lane quickly responded for the Bucks in the bottom of the fifth with his first hit as a Waterloo Buck going over the wall in left field. With two outs and an 0-2 count, the solo homerun made it a 5-1 Waterloo lead.

Drapeau (3-1) ended his winning start after six innings on the mound, and he allowed one run on five hits along with two strikeouts and two walks on the night.

Mark Hernandez (Long Island) took the helm to open the seventh frame in relief. After surrendering two hits and one run over his 1/3 of an inning, Hernandez exited early with the Bucks in front, 5-2.

Connor Crane (McNeese St.) tripled to open the seventh for the Rox and later scored on Reese Gregory’s (St. Cloud St.) single up the middle to make it a three-run deficit.

The St. Cloud score in the seventh inning brought Naso, Jr. to the mound to try and get out of the jam. The right-hander induced a 4-6-3 double play to get out of the inning with Waterloo leading, 5-2.

Naso, Jr. picked up his first save of the season after closing out the final 2 2/3 frames on the night. The right-hander surrendered just one hit and one run in the ninth inning during his second relief outing of the year.

Tietjen took the first pitch he saw in the ninth for a single down the line in left before scoring on a Lee Miller (Davidson) sacrifice fly. The run made it a 5-3 score as the Bucks hung on for the win.

The Bucks continue the four-game home stand with game one of a two-game set against Kalamazoo Sunday afternoon at 3:35 p.m.(CT). Celebrate Father’s Day with Father’s Day with the Bucks! After the game, all fathers & their children are invited to play catch in the outfield.

Presented by Lincoln Savings Bank, the first 250 kids (age 10 and under) to enter the stadium will receive a free beach bucket. Following the game, all kids ages 10 and under are invited on to the infield to dash a pick up 1,000 quarters! It’s also a Kids Eat FREE Sunday! Every Sunday, kids ages 12 & under get a coupon for a hot dog, small popcorn, & small fountain soda!

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.