Bucks split with Honkers to close first half
Waterloo and Rochester each were victorious in their home contests of the traveling twin bill.
By: Matt Gruemmer, Waterloo Bucks
WATERLOO, Iowa – Early offense proved to decide both games of a split-doubleheader between the Waterloo Bucks (18-18) and the Rochester Honkers (20-14) Tuesday in the Northern Division of the Northwoods League. The Honkers claimed game one, 8-4, with six runs in the first three innings from Mayo Field while the Bucks utilized a 10-0 advantage after two frames to stave off a Rochester comeback and secure a 10-8 victory from Riverfront Stadium in the nightcap. With the win, the Bucks ended a five-game win streak and moved the SCHEELS Highway 63 Cup Standings to 1-1.
Doug Hayes (1-2) (Illinois) took the loss in game one after 2/3 of an inning pitched in his short start while Brian Drapeau (4-1) (Long Island) struck out 10 and collected his team-best fourth win of the year in game two.
Waterloo utilized strong pitching performances and several big offensive innings throughout the games to compete with the Honkers. The Bucks’ defense committed eight errors during the doubleheader.
Rochester took a 6-1 lead into the seventh inning and survived a late Waterloo rally in the seventh the move to an 8-4 win at May Field. Taylor Boyd (St. Joseph’s) collected two hits and scored two runs in the loss for the Bucks.
Doug Hayes (1-2) took an early leave as the Waterloo starter after 2/3 of a frame. The lefty struggled to find the zone early and yielded three runs on two hits and three walks in first inning.
Sean Trimble (Long Beach St.) struck out the final out of the first and worked on the mound until the end of the sixth. The reliever allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts in the lengthy bullpen outing.
The Bucks entered the scoring column in the top of the third when Boyd scored on Taylor Lane’s (Florida) run-scoring fielder’s choice ground ball to shortstop.
Three more runs crossed for Waterloo in the seventh when Boyd singled in Matthew Stemper (Minnesota) and Zach Soria (Florida International) singled in a pair to make it a 6-4 game at the stretch.
Ryan McCourt (Coffeyville CC) toed the hill in the seventh and allowed two runs on three hits over two innings while also giving up a homerun. The late blast from Matt Fiedler (Minnesota) pushed the game to its final margin, 8-4.
Building a 10-0 lead in the first two innings, the Bucks survived a Rochester late-inning rally to end their five-game skid with a 10-8 win. Luke Stratman (Lamar CC) tallied three singles in the win while Zach McKinstry (Central Michigan) notched his second triple of the season to bring in three runs.
Waterloo got on the board first with three runs on two hits to take a 3-0 advantage in their opening inning. Taylor Lane (Florida) singled in Ryan Nagle (Illinois) to score the game’s first run. Then, Tyler Selesky’s (Florida Gulf Coast) groundball was fielded as an error at shortstop, scoring Zach Soria (Florida International) for the 2-0 lead. Lane scored the inning’s final run from third base after the Honkers tried to catch McKinstry stealing from first base.
In the second inning, the Bucks set a new season-high for runs in a single frame with seven to increase their advantage, 10-0. Soria took a bases-loaded walk to plate Alex Boxwell (Minnesota) for the inning’s initial score before Lane brought Stratman across with a sacrifice fly later on.
Zach McKinstry provided a bases-loaded triple to drive in three in the frame while Mikal Hill (Winston-Salem St.) and Matthew James (Illinois) each provided RBI-doubles in the scoring inning.
Brian Drapeau (4-1) was phenomenal for Waterloo, tossing six shutout frames of three-hit baseball in the win. The right-hander struck out 10 and walked none in his eighth start of the season.
Then, Rochester plated four runs in both the seventh and eighth innings off the Waterloo bullpen to make it a two-run ballgame. The Honkers had the tying run in scoring position before ending their half frame in the eighth.
Joe Martinson (Minnesota) entered out of relief for the Bucks in the seventh and surrendered four runs, two earned, on two hits and one walk over 2/3 of an inning.
Mitchel Babb (Ole Miss) recorded the final out of the seventh with a strikeout after allowing a run-scoring hit and one walk.
Charlie Naso, Jr. (Illinois) took over in the eighth and lost his rhythm after recording two outs. Naso labored through 2/3 of a frame where he gave up four runs, three earned, one three hits and three walks before coming out of the game.
In his Northwoods League debut, Frank Rubio (Flordia) picked up the save and got out of a bases-loaded jams in both the eighth and ninth innings to secure the 10-8 victory. Rubio surrendered two hits and struck out one in his tough role as closer of the game.
Next, the Bucks head to St. Cloud for a two-game series beginning Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Waterloo returns home Friday, July 3rd, to open a four-game home stand with both the Battle Creek Bombers and Willmar Stingers.
Friday’s contest with Battle Creek marks a Flat Screen Friday where fans ages 18 and older can register to win one of three 32" flat screen TVs.
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.