The Bucks allowed a season-high in runs allowed, falling to Eau Claire 14-4 on Sunday.
By: Matt Gruemmer, Waterloo Bucks
WATERLOO, Iowa – The Waterloo Bucks (24-24/6-6) received a 14-4 defeat from the Eau Claire Express (17-29/4-8) Sunday at Riverfront Stadium, evening the season-series to 3-3 between the two clubs. The Express scattered 14 runs on 20 hits, forcing Waterloo to utilize five arms in the loss. Tyler Selesky (Florida Gulf Coast) hit his third homerun of the season, a lead-off round-tripper in the bottom of the first, to pace the offense in their second loss of the six-game home stand.
Tyler Day (Stephen F. Austin) took the loss on the mound for the Bucks, surrendering nine runs, eight earned, over 4 1/3 frames in the start. The Express offense compiled a season-high 11 hits off Day while receiving one walk in the double-digit win.
Three consecutive hits with one out in the top of the first gave Eau Claire a quick 2-0 lead to open the game. Selesky cut the advantage in half and answered for the Bucks by taking the third pitch he saw over the left-centerfield wall for a solo homerun in the bottom of the first.
Eau Claire, then, rallied for 12 unanswered scores heading to the bottom of the eighth. In the top of the second, the Express grabbed a 6-1 lead with four runs coming after one out. Kyle Marinconz (Cal Poly) crushed a two-run single to right field in the frame while Daulton Varsho (Milwaukee) and Teddy Cillis (Hofstra) each contributed a run-batted-in.
After two runs scored for the Express in the top of the fifth, the Bucks were forced to go to the bullpen and bring in Ryan McCourt (Coffeyville CC). The right-hander escaped the four-run inning after giving up a run, a hit and a walk.
Toeing the hill to open the seventh, Nathan Spielvogel (Marrimack) had the tough task of quieting the Eau Claire lineup. Spielvogel allowed Nathan Krause (Winona St.) and Brady Burzynski (UW-Stout) to score along with three hits and a walk in his lone inning on the bump.
Andrew Muehlberger (Coffeyville CC) started the eighth for the Bucks on the rubber, and allowed an inning-opening solo homerun to Joe Gillete (Oregon St.) to make it a 13-1 game. After Kale LaTorre (Montevallo) doubled and scored in the frame, Muehlberger finished his one inning with two runs allowed on three hits and a walk.
Trailing by the largest deficit of the season, the Bucks responded in the 14-1 bottom of the eighth. Luke Stratman (Lamar CC) started the three-run rally by reaching on a ground ball fielded as an error at third base.
Then, Taylor Lane (Florida) doubled in Stratman to the wall in left-center to make it a 14-2 score. Zach Soria (Florida International) drove in Jonah Bride (Neosho County CC), who walked in the frame, with a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield to add the second run while Alex Boxwell (Minnesota) plated Lane with an RBI-double down the line in left to make a three-run dent in the score.
Matthew James (Illinois) made his first pitching appearance for the Bucks in the top of the ninth, and the right-hander shut down the Express bats for one strikeout and no hits. James, the only member of the Waterloo pitching staff to not walk a batter or allow a run, maintained the eventual 14-4 final score in his one inning of work.
The Bucks continue the home stand Monday, opening their final two-game series at home with the Alexandria Blue Anchors a 7:05 PM (CT). 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.
# # #
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.