Bucks drop series opener, 5-3

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The Bucks conclude their two-game series in Eau Claire tomorrow afternoon vs. the Express.

Box Score:

By: Jared Shlensky

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – Three errors and a four-run seventh inning by Eau Claire was too much for Waterloo to overcome in the series opener from Carson Park on Saturday night, as Waterloo fell to the Express, 5-3. Saturday’s loss pushed Waterloo 1.5 games behind Eau Claire for second in the North Division and three games behind St. Cloud for first with four games remaining in the first half.  

Eau Claire (22-11) took an early 1-0 lead on unearned run in the first. Cody Bohanek led off the inning with a single to left-center. Mickey McDonald then reached on an infield single to Zac Sanders at third, however, with Bohanek on the move following the pitch and Sanders having to range far to his left, Bohanek took third on the play, giving the Express runners on the corners. Daulton Varsho then brought in Bohanek for the first run of the game with an RBI groundout to the left side.

Waterloo (20-12) countered with a run of their own in the second, tying the game at 1-1. Adam McGinnis started the inning with a double to left-center on the first pitch he saw. After Jake Hand grounded out for the first out of the inning, Lane Milligan laid a bunt single up the third base line, advancing McGinnis to third. Brody Weiss followed Milligan with an RBI single just over the leaping reach of Behanaek at short, bringing in McGinnis for the first Waterloo run of the night.

The Bucks took their only lead of the night with a run in the sixth. Zach Weatherford singled to center before stealing second with one out in the inning. Two wild pitches from Eau Claire starter Brody Rodning then brought in Weatherford, putting Waterloo in front, 2-1.

The Express regained the lead with four runs in the seventh. Kyle Marinconz singled to center to begin the inning. Austin Guzzo then drew a walk before Jared Mang reached on the third Waterloo error of the evening. Sam Hurt put Eau Claire in front by two with a bases-clearing triple to left-center before Ripken Reyes made it 5-2 with a sacrifice fly to center.

Waterloo cut the deficit to one with the final run of the game in the eighth. Weatherford trimmed the Eau Claire lead to 5-3 with a solo home run to left field to begin the inning. The home run for Weatherford was his first of the season.

Nate Spielvogel (1-3) was charged with the loss. Spielvogel allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits and a walk in one inning.

Bryce Reichmann recorded a no-decision in his first start of the year. The southpaw allowed one run on four hits and struck out one.

Andrew Muehlberger followed Reichmann with three scoreless innings of relief. Muehlberger yielded three hits and struck out one. Jason Foster tossed a scoreless bottom of the eighth in his Waterloo debut, allowing just one hit.

Jake Sommers (2-2) earned the win in relief. The right-handed walked one and retired the other three batters he faced. Christian Tripp (3) secured the win with a perfect ninth inning for the save. 

Waterloo and Eau Claire their two-game series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch in the series finale is at 5:05 p.m. RHP Brett Solano (3-1, 5.61) gets the start for Waterloo while Eau Claire counters with RHP Bryan Hamilton (2-3, 5.33).

Waterloo wraps up a suspended game from Tuesday, June 14 against the Rochester Honkers on Monday 6:05 p.m. before playing the originally scheduled game at 7:05 p.m. The suspended game will resume in the top of the ninth with Waterloo leading Rochester, 3-2, before first pitch in the originally scheduled game vs. the Honkers.

Monday, July 4th is Military Heroes Night from Riverfront Stadium and features an Independence Day Jersey Auction. The first 1,000 fans receive a Military Heroes Card set. This Card set recognizes military members throughout the Cedar Valley. Before the game, we will recognize our Military Heroes in our Card set. Independence Day themed jerseys will also be worn by Bucks players to support Honor Flight. The jerseys will be auctioned off during the game with all proceeds going to Honor Flight. Jerseys are presented by The Screaming Eagle, The Wild Hare, & The Dirty Dog American Bars & Grills.

Monday’s game is also Buck Night and a Post-Game Fireworks Extravaganza. 10 oz. draft beer, 12 oz. fountain soda, small popcorn and ice cream sandwiches are $1.00 while hot dogs cost just $1.50. Remember to join us for a fireworks show following the Bucks game, too!

All Waterloo Bucks games can be heard online at with Jared Shlensky. ​