Bucks extend winning streak to six with 7-6 win
Zach Fricke’s solo home run in the eighth proved to be the difference in the series opener vs. Lakeshore.
By: Jared Shlensky
MEQUON, Wis. – For the second straight night, Zach Fricke was the deciding factor in a Bucks win, this time with a solo home run in the top of the eighth to push Waterloo past Lakeshore, 7-6, in the series opener on Friday night at Kapco Park.
After Lakeshore (5-6) tied the game at 6-6 with a four-run bottom of the seventh, Fricke put Waterloo in front for good with a one-out solo home run over the right field wall. The home run was the first of the season for Fricke and Bucks’ sixth as a team.
Waterloo (9-2) jumped in front first with a run in the second. Adam McGinnis recorded the first hit of the game with a single to left to start the inning before an errant pickoff attempt got away from Spears, allowing McGinnis to move up to second. Jake Hand then grounded out to Spears, advancing McGinnis to third before Robert Neustrom brought in McGinnis with an RBI groundout to the left side.
Lakeshore evened the game at 1-1 with a run in the third. Alec Olund started the bottom of the third with a leadoff walk before Royce Ando singled through the right side on a perfect hit-and-run attempt, giving the Chinooks runners on the corners. Joe Duncan followed Ando with an RBI groundout to third, scoring Olund.
Waterloo regained the lead with four two-out runs in the fourth. After Tyler Curtis and McGinnis grounded out to start the inning, Hand singled back through the middle for the Bucks’ first baserunner of the frame. Neustrom then reached on an infield single, giving the Bucks runners on first and second before a Spears wild pitch advanced both runners into scoring position. Blake Alexander followed Neustrom with a walk to load the bases before Zac Sanders ended a 0-for-14 skid with a bases-clearing triple down the right field. Another Lakshore error with Matthew Paciello hitting allowed Sanders to score, extending Waterloo’s lead to 5-1.
Lakeshore cut the lead to three with a two-out run in the fifth. Zac Taylor reached with two outs after being hit by Jared Crescentini. Kurtis Brown then singled to left, giving the Chinooks runners on first and second. Both runners moved up 90-feet on a double steal before Darius Sewell brought in Taylor with an RBI infield single.
The Chinooks squared the game at 6-6 with a four-run bottom of the seventh, three of which came with two outs. A Matt Johnson hit by pitch followed by a Taylor single to left gave Lakeshore runners on first and second to begin the frame. Sewell then reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases. Hayden Senger was then hit in left shoulder, scoring Johnson on the RBI hit by pitch. Two batters later, Owen Miller deadlocked the game with a bases-clearing triple to left-center.
Andy Muehlberger (1-0) recorded the win in his second relief appearance of the season. Muehlberger yielded one run on one hit, striking out two and walking one.
Brandon Downey (4) recorded his league-leading fourth save with a five-out relief appearance. Downey retired four of the six hitters he faced, yielding two walks while striking out two. Downey has yet to allow either a hit or run in 8 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.
Crescentini recorded his third straight quality start with his second six-inning outing. Crescentini allowed two runs on five hits, striking out four, walking three and hitting one batter.
Nolan Bond (0-1) suffered the loss for Lakeshore. Bond allowed one run on three hits in two innings of relief.
The Bucks conclude their two-game road series tomorrow evening against the Lakshore Chinooks. First pitch in the series finale from Kapco Park is at 6:35 p.m. LHP Patrick Boyle (1-0, 1.68) gets the ball for Waterloo on Saturday while Lakeshore counters with RHP Tyler Hasper (0-1, 3.52).
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.