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Late charge lifts Bucks over Border Cats

Waterloo scored two-out runs in the eighth and ninth innings to sneak by Thunder Bay, 3-2.

Box Score

THUNDER BAY, Ontario – Trailing 2-1, entering the top of the eighth, the Waterloo Bucks (27-24/9-6) came back for two unanswered runs in both the eighth and ninth frames to stifle the Thunder Bay Border Cats (22-29/5-11) Thursday night at Tbaytel Park at Port Arthur Stadium. Tyler Seleksy (Florida Gulf Coast) notched the game-winning single with two outs in the top of the ninth to plate Mikal Hill (Winsotn-Salem St.) while Nathan Spielvogel (1-5) (Marrimack) hung on for the win over three scoreless frames out of the bullpen.

Back-to-back doubles down the right field line by Jonah Bride (Neosho County CC) and Matthew James (Illinois) with two down in the eight tied the game at 2-2 and gave the team a vital charge heading to the final frame of play. The victory marked Waterloo’s second consecutive win on the road since a 4-3 comeback effort June 5 at Mankato.

Dominant starting pitching opened the affair as Mid-Season Northwoods League All-Star selections Brian Drapeua (Long Island) for Waterloo and Greg Weissert (Fordham) for Thunder Bay battled their way through the first four frames.

Drapeau left after four full innings, facing the minimum of 12 batters to the box. In a no-decision start, the hurler recorded two strikeouts, walked none and allowed zero hits.

Matthew Stemper (Minnesota) broke the scoreless tie, 1-0, in the top of the fifth when he took home on a double steal. Aided by Selesky, Stemper crossed before his teammate was tagged out between first and second base in a rundown.

Mitchell Babb (Ole Miss) took over to open the bottom of the fifth and allowed the only two Border Cat scores in the sixth. The left-hander surrendered two runs on two hits while walking two and striking out a pair in two innings of work on the night.

Thunder Bay utilized a two-out, two-run single to left field off the bat of Carter McEachern (Trinity) to overtake the lead, 2-1, heading to the seventh.

Spielvogel (1-5) earned his first victory of the season by shutting down the Border Cats’ bats over three frames on the hill. The reliever utilized help from his defense to hold Thunder Bay to no runs on two hits, securing the 3-2 win on the road.

The Bucks close the series Friday at 6:05 p.m. (CT) from Tbaytel Park at Port Arthur Stadium against the Border Cats.

Waterloo returns home next on Friday, July 18, to face the Duluth Huskies at 5:05 p.m. (CT). Join the Bucks after the game for a rockin’ concert on the field performed by country artist, and Iowa native, Neil Hewitt!

Then, presented by Hawkeye Community College, join us for a fireworks show following the Bucks game on Saturday! Fireworks shows are VERY popular so make sure to get your tickets now!

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.