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Crescentini, Bucks down St. Cloud, 7-4

 

Bucks win fifth straight season opener with 7-4 win over St. Cloud.

By: Jared Shlensky

 

Bucks-Game-Story-Web (1)

 

WATERLOO, Iowa –  Jared Crescentini tossed six shutout innings while the Bucks offense jumped out to an early 6-0 lead through seven to down the St. Cloud Rox, 7-4, on opening night at Riverfront Stadium. Tuesday’s season-opening win was the Bucks fifth straight season-opening victory and the first at home since 2013.

Crescentini (1-0) retired eight in a row at one point and allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out three over six shutout frames. Eight of the nine Bucks hitters recorded at least one hit while Colin Kreiter and Tyler Curtis paced the offense with two hits each.

Waterloo (1-0) struck first with a run in the first. Blake Alexander drove in Daniel Perry for the first run of the year with an RBI single through the right side.

The Bucks doubled their lead in the third on a two-out RBI double by Curtis, plating Zac Sanders from first.

Waterloo made it 4-0 with two more runs in the fifth. After Adam McGinnis was plunked in the ribs with two outs in the frame, Kreiter brought him in with an RBI single to left. A throwing error by St. Cloud (0-1) third baseman Trevor Putzig allowed Kretier to score the final run of the fifth.

The Bucks tacked on two more runs in the seventh to go up 6-0. Curtis led off the frame with a double off the base of the centerfield wall and came around to score two batters later on Kreiter’s RBI single to left. Jake Hand then reached on an infield single, giving the Bucks runners on the corners. Zach Fricke followed Hand with a sacrifice fly to center, bringing in Kreiter from third.

St. Cloud (0-1) did not go down without a fight, as the Rox scored four runs on six straight hits to open the top of the eighth. Quentin Sefcik started the inning with a single to left and then came around to score the Rox’ first run of the year on Austin LaDoux RBI double to center. Reliever Aaron Rozek cut the Bucks lead to four with an RBI double to right-center. Shelby Lackey made it 6-3 with an RBI single to center, bringing in Rozek from second. Lackey reached base in all four of his plate appearances and finished the night a perfect 3-for-3. Chris Quitzer added the Rox’ final run of the night with an RBI single to right.

Perry’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth was the game's final run, and extended the Bucks lead to 7-4.

Brandon Downey (1) recorded the Bucks first save of the year with two scoreless innings in relief. The right-hander retired six of the seven hitters he faced, including two via a strikeout.

Right-hander Austin Caspersen (0-1) was tagged with the loss for the Rox. Caspersen was charged with four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out a pair across four innings.  

The Waterloo Bucks close out the two-game series tomorrow night at Riverfront Stadium vs. the St. Cloud Rox. LHP Patrick Boyle makes his season debut for Waterloo while St. Cloud has yet to announce who will start tomorrow's series finale. First pitch in the series finale vs. St. Cloud is at 7:05 p.m., with gates opening at 6 p.m. You can listen to Jared Shlensky and all 72 Waterloo Bucks regular-season games online at waterloobucks.com.

Tomorrow’s game is a Twins Ticket Giveaway. One fan will receive a pair of tickets to an upcoming Twins game this season.