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Waterloo falters on Millard’s big night

Tim Millard (Dallas Baptist) smashed a two-run homer in his first home at-bat as the Bucks fell to the Express.

Box Score

By: Matt Gruemmer, Waterloo Bucks

WATERLOO, Iowa – Going yard in his first trip to the plate along with two hits and a walk, Tim Millard (Dallas Baptist) was an offensive spectacle to behold for sports fans at Riverfront Stadium Monday night. Despite the new member’s big contribution from the box, the Waterloo Bucks (29-30/11-12) failed to tame the Eau Claire Express (24-24/11-13) lineup in a game marked by extra-base hits and shining glove work.

In his first start, Andrew Davis (0-1) (Barton) was hit nine times for six runs, five earned, with two walks and a pair of strikeouts over four innings as the Bucks dropped a critical game in the playoff chase. Mikal Hill (Winston-Salem St.) joined the high-octane action with two doubles, a run scored, a bunt single and a base on balls for Waterloo’s offense.

The Express put together a quick 2-0 lead in the first on three hits and a balk in the frame. Following consecutive singles by Brady Burzynski (UW-Stout) and Sam Hurt (Madison) to open the game, all-star Daulton Varsho (Milwaukee) hit into a fielder’s choice a second base to put runners on the corners with one away.

Then, a balk against Davis on the mound sent in Burzynski for the 1-0 lead. Sam Mrstik would conclude the scoring by driving in Varsho with one if his two singles on the night.

With two outs in the bottom of the second, Daniel Perry started a rally with a single into left-center field. In the next at-bat, Millard towered a pitch high over the wall in left to tie the score, 2-2. Chris Kelly kept the momentum alive with his first triple to follow up with the bases cleared, but was not able to be driven in.

Hill gave Waterloo its only lead of the game in the bottom of the third when he stole home on an intended double-steal play with two outs in the frame. After opening the inning with his second double-bagger of the contest, Hill raced across home when Jonah Bride (Neosho County CC) played keep-away from the Eau Claire defense.

Scotland Church dealt the Bucks their fatal blow in the top of the fourth when he answered with his first home run of the year, a three-run shot to left that gave the Express a 5-3 lead. Burzynski reached on an error and scored later in the frame to increase the mark to 6-3 heading to the bottom of the fourth.

Iowa native CJ Eldred (Iowa), then, turned on the jets against the Bucks to calmly allow two hits during his four remaining scoreless innings of work. Eldred picked up the victory while Davis took the loss exiting after a lead-off walk in the fifth.

Andrew Muehlberger (Coffeyville CC) picked up the ball for the Bucks in the fifth and worked through the seventh, giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits while striking out one in the relief outing.

Scoring consecutive runs in both the sixth and seventh frames, the Eau Claire offense tallied another in the eighth of Waterloo hurler Nick Newman (St. Cloud St.). A lead-off triple and score by Joe Gillete (Oregon St.) marked Newman’s only run yielded in two innings of work to close it out for the Bucks in a final, 9-3.

Waterloo closes their season-series against the Eau Claire Express Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. It’s the final Two For Tuesday of the season where fans can 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 as well!

It will also be the Buy a Hot Dog, Win a Prize promotion on Tuesday! Each hot dog sold in the concessions stands at the ballpark will contain either cash or a prize, courtesy of the Bucks. Top prize includes $100 cash!

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.