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Bucks shutout Huskies, end road skid

Waterloo ended an eight-game losing streak away from home with a 12-0 victory on the road in Duluth.

Box Score

By: Matt Gruemmer, Waterloo Bucks

DULUTH, Minn. – The Waterloo Bucks (22-22/4-4) utilized multi-score innings and shutdown pitching to move past the Duluth Huskies (23-11/3-5) in a 12-0 contest Wednesday night at Wade Stadium. Ryan Nagle (Illinois) provided a three-run homerun and two runs on the night, and Carson McPherson (4-2) (Murray St. College) weaved his way through the Duluth lineup through five innings of scoreless ball to give the Bucks their first win on the road since June 24.

Waterloo used two strong stints from Coffeyville CC relievers Ryan McCourt and Andrew Muehlberger to secure the shutout from the bullpen and split the series with Duluth, 1-1. The Bucks’ offense drew nine walks and tallied 15 hits throughout the night while the Huskies stranded 13 men on the base paths.

Ryan Nagle lifted the Bucks in front 3-0 in the top of the opening inning by taking the first pitch he saw over the right field wall. The homerun, which was good for Nagle’s first of the year, drove in Mikal Hill (Winston-Salem St.) and Zach McKinstry (Central Michigan), who walked and reached on an error in the frame, respectively.

The Bucks bolstered the advantage to 7-0 in the top of the third with four runs that all crossed on two outs. After a 4-6-3 double play turned by Duluth’s defense, Chris Kelly (DMACC), in his first start for Waterloo, singled in two runners with the bases loaded.

In the next at-bat Taylor Boyd (St. Joseph’s) batted in Matthew Stemper (Minnesota) with a single to right field while also sending Kelly to third base. Then, Boyd warranted a throw to second base when he stole the bag, allowing Kelly to slide in head first for the early seven-run lead.

Carson McPherson (4-2) ended his start after allowing back-to-back singles to open the sixth. The southpaw earned the win over five inning of scoreless ball where he allowed six hits, two walks and four strikeouts.

Ryan McCourt entered with runners on first and second base in the sixth and recorded all three outs with the next three men in the box. The reliever went 1 1/3 hitless, scoreless innings before walking a man with one out in the seventh.

Andrew Muehlberger came to the hill with two on and one out in the bottom of the seventh, and, just as his predecessor in the previous inning, got out of the jam by shutting down the Duluth order in consecutive batters faced. Muehlberger went the rest of the way for the Bucks, hurling 2 2/3 frames of relief where he walked one and gave up just two hits.

Four walks, one error and two hits gave Waterloo five more runs in the top of the eighth to add on to the lead. Zach McKinstry tallied an RBI-triple and scored on an errant ground ball to second to open the frame.

Jonah Bride (Neosho County CC), then, coaxed a bases-loaded walk to make it a 10-0 lead in the eighth. Not to be outdone, Stemper cracked an RBI-single while Zach Soria (Florida International) plated a run with a sacrifice fly to push the game to its final tally, 12-0.

Waterloo returns home to host Alexandria and begins a six-game home stand on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Thursday marks Pro Wrestling Night where Kevin “Big Sexy” Nash will make an appearance.

Professional wrestler, Kevin “Big Sexy” Nash is coming to the Bucks game! Nash will be available to sign autographs before and during the game! He will also throw a ceremonial first pitch and join the radio broadcasters for ½ an inning! Don’t miss your chance to meet this wrestling star!

It will also be the Wrestling Belt Giveaway where he first 500 fans through the gate will receive a free Bucks foam wrestling belt. The game will feature a Post-Game Fireworks Extravaganza and a Thirsty Thursday where fans can get 20 oz. bottles of water, 24 oz. fountain soda, 12 oz. regular draft beer, and small popcorn for just $2.00 each! Sponsored by Q92.3.

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.