Fricke’s walk-off double gives Bucks 2-1 win
Waterloo, Iowa native Zach Fricke extends the Bucks’ win streak to five with two-out walk-off double.
By: Jared Shlensky
WATERLOO, IOWA. – Waterloo, Iowa native, Zach Fricke completed the Bucks’ 2-1 come-from-behind win over the Duluth Huskies on Thursday evening with a two-out walk-off double to left-center in the bottom of the ninth. Fricke’s walk-off double extended Waterloo’s winning streak to five and increased the Bucks’ record to 6-0 against teams in the North Division.
Colin Kreiter led off the bottom of the ninth with an infield to the right side before Tyler Curtis advanced him to second with a groundout to Mitch Reeves at third. Robert Neustrom then reached on a fielder’s choice, resulting in Kreiter being tagged out between second and third in a rundown. After Adam McGinnis was hit in the back for a team-leading third time, Fricke completed the homestand sweep with a walk-off double over the head of left fielder Reid Long, bringing around Neustrom from second.
Duluth (4-6) scored first with an unearned run in the seventh. Nic Strasser reached on a one-out infield single to the right side before Long moved him to second with a groundout to second. Daniel Gardner followed Long with another infield single to the right side, giving the Huskies runners on the corners. A Fricke passed ball brought with Carter Hanford at the plate brought in Strasser from third for the game’s first run.
Waterloo (8-2) tied things up with a run in the eighth before scoring again in the ninth for the walk-off win. Blake Alexander reached base to begin the eighth after being hit in the back. A Wade Regas throwing error on a pickoff attempt allowed Alexander to move up to second before pinch-hitter Taylor Boyd advanced Alexander to third with an unassisted groundout to first baseman Dillon Paulson. Pinch-hitter Jake Hand tied the game at 1-1 with an RBI single just past second baseman David Kyriacou into center field, scoring Alexander.
Derek Hendrixson (1-0) recorded the win with a 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Hendrixson hit a batter and allowed one hit while striking out a pair in his fourth relief appearance of the season.
Hunter Spencer was charged with an unearned run on two hits, striking out a pair in two innings. Steven Baker carried a no-hitter into the fifth and finished the night with 4 2/3 scoreless innings. Baker walked four, hit a batter, yielded two hits and struck out one in his second start of the season.
Hand’s pinch-hit RBI single to center extended his team-best on-base streak to 10 games while Alexander extended his on-base streak to nine after getting hit in the back to begin the eighth. Kreiter paced the offense with two hits while Fricke reached base three times on the night.
Trevino Rodriguez (1-1) was tagged in the loss for Duluth. The right-hander allowed one run on one hit in 2/3 of an inning.
The Bucks head to Grafton, Wis., tomorrow for a two-game road series against the Lakshore Chinooks. First pitch in the series opener from Kapco Park is at 6:35 p.m. RHP Jared Crescentini (1-0, 0.69) makes his team-leading third start for Waterloo on Friday while Lakeshore sends LHP Zach Spears (1-0 1.80) to the hill.
The Bucks return home on Sunday, June 12 for the start of a three-game homestand. Sunday’s game is Mommy/Son Super Hero Date Day and Kids Eat Free Day. First pitch on Sunday against the Kenosha Kingfish is at 3:35 p.m., with gates opening at 2:30 p.m. All Waterloo Bucks games can be heard online at waterloobucks.com with Jared Shlensky.