Rox edge Bucks, 5-4, in series opener
Bucks look to regain sole possession of first place tomorrow night in the series finale vs. St. Cloud
By: Jared Shlensky
ST. CLOUD, MINN. – A four-run fifth inning followed by a two-out run in the bottom of the eighth pushed the St. Cloud Rox pass the Waterloo Bucks, 5-4, in the series opener from Joe Faber Field on Tuesday night.
A one-out walk from Brody Weiss followed by back-to-back singles from Zach Weatherford and Taylor Boyd loaded the bases for Waterloo in the third before Lane Milligan drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 1-0.
Luke Stratman doubled the Bucks’ lead with a solo home run to begin the fifth. The home run for Stratman came in just his second at-bat of the season as the third baseman made his debut tonight for Waterloo.
St. Cloud (14-6) took their first lead of the night with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Ben Peterson and Denis Karas recorded back-to-back singles to begin the inning before Drew Friedman laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing both runners into scoring positon. Brandon Illias tied the game at 2-2 with a two-run double to right-center. Brandon Benson followed Illias with a single to left, putting runners on the corners. Two batters later, Ricky Ramirez reached on a Waterloo fielding error, allowing Illias to score from third. Luke Ringhofer doubled the Rox’ lead to 4-2 with an RBI single to center, bringing in Benson.
Waterloo (14-6) tied things up at 4-4 with two unearned runs in the seventh. Stratman reached on a fielder’s choice before Weatherford drew a walk, giving the Bucks runners on first and second. Boyd followed Weatherford with a two-out RBI single into right field, bringing in Stratman. Milligan then drew his second walk of the night to load the bases before Tyler Curtis drew a bases-loaded, bringing in Weatherford.
St. Cloud secured the win with a two-out run in the eighth. A two-out double from Karas gave the Rox a runner in scoring position before Waterloo elected to intentionally walk Friedman. Illias made Waterloo pay with a sharp RBI single to center, scoring Karas for the go-ahead run.
Nate Spielvogel (1-2) was charged with the loss for Waterloo. The right-hander yielded one run on two hits and a walk in one inning of relief.
Robbie Palkert (1-0) earned the win for St. Cloud. The right-hander allowed no runs on two hits, striking out three and walking one in 2 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.
The Bucks conclude their two-game set against St. Cloud tomorrow night. First pitch in the series finale is at 7:05 p.m. LHP Patrick Boyle (1-0, 3.18) gets the start for Waterloo while St. Cloud has yet to announce who their starting pitcher is.
Waterloo returns home to Riverfront Stadium on Monday, June 27th vs. La Crosse. Monday’s game is another Buck Night. 10 oz. draft beer, 12 oz. fountain soda, small popcorn and ice cream sandwiches are $1.00 while hot dogs are just $1.50. All Waterloo Bucks games can be heard online with Jared Shlensky on waterloobucks.com.