Stingers walk-off in battle with Bucks
Waterloo allowed the game-winning run to cross in the bottom of the ninth as Willmar took the series-opener, 2-1.
WILLMAR, Minn. – In a game marked by stunning starting pitching and firm defense from both sides, the Waterloo Bucks (17-14) fell, 2-1, in the bottom of the ninth to the Willmar Stingers (18-11) Thursday night at Bill Taunton Stadium. After Justin Thaxton (Pacific) doubled to open the ninth for Willmar, Brian Pruett (Florida Gulf Coast) singled to right-center in the next at-bat, securing his team’s spot of first place in the Northern Division standings and the walk-off win over the Bucks.
Brian Drapeau (Long Island) was sensational in the start for Waterloo, giving up one run on four hits and striking out nine Stingers throughout six innings. Tyler Selesky (Florida Gulf Coast) collected a double and scored the lone run for the Bucks when he was singled in by Alex Boxwell (Minnesota) to right field in the fifth. The Waterloo defense backed up the strong pitching with two double plays, a near triple play and several diving stops.
Willmar took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Kyle Gilbert (Florida Gulf Coast) homered off Drapeau to the left field.
The Bucks wasted no time in a response when Boxwell singled in Selesky in the top of the fifth. Selesky scored to tie the game, 1-1, and notched his second double of the season to lead-off the inning.
Drapeau exited after six tough frames on the mound. The right-hander took the no-decision in allowing one run on four hits with two walks and nine punchouts on the night.
Nathan Spielvogel (Marrimack) entered from the bullpen to open the seventh and worked a 1-2-3 frame before facing trouble after two walks to open the eighth. The reliever left the game after the two base-on-balls, and allowed just one hit during his eighth outing of the season.
Mitchel Babb (0-1) (Mississippi) came on to face the jam and received a double-play from his defense after the very first pitch he threw in relief. Babb escaped the eighth with one walk, but took the loss on the night after allowing the two hits and the game-winning run to cross in the bottom of the ninth.
Waterloo will continue the road trip by finishing a two-game series in Willmar at 7:05 p.m. (CT) Friday. Then, the Bucks travel to Thunder Bay for a two-game series with the Border Cats Saturday and Sunday before returning to Waterloo for an off-day on June 29.
The Bucks finish the seven-game stand with a traveling-doubleheader with the Rochester Honkers on June 30. Following game one of the day at 12:05 p.m. at Mayo Field, the two teams will drive to Riverfront Stadium to conclude the twin bill at 7:05 p.m. The two gameswith Rochester marks the first two contests in the SCHEELS Highway 63 Cup.
During the nightcap on June 30, the Bucks will have the Bill’s Pizza & Smokehouse Baseball Card Set Giveaway. The first 1,000 fans through the gate will receive a Bucks Baseball Team Card Set, presented by Bill’s Pizza & Smokehouse.
It will also be 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.
# # #
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.