Waterloo concludes its five-game road trip on Saturday evening vs. Thunder Bay
Box Score: http://northwoods.bbstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=316962
By: Jared Shlensky
THUNDER BAY, ONTRARIO, Canada – A five-run fifth inning paced the Thunder Bay Border Cats to a 6-3 win over the Waterloo Bucks in the first matchup of the season from Canada on Friday night. Gunnar Kay handed the Bucks their first loss of the second half in his first win of the season.
Waterloo (2-1, 24-14) struck first for the third straight game with a run in the second. After Robert Neustrom lined out to center to begin the inning, Jake Hand belted his first home run of the season to left field to put the Bucks up 1-0.
Thunder Bay (2-1, 8-29) took a 5-1 lead in the second with five runs in the bottom of the second. Northwoods League All-Star shortstop Andrew Frejia reached on a Waterloo throwing error from third baseman Matt Morrow to begin the inning. With Fregia on the move, Bobby Honeyman hit a comebacker directly off of Brett Solano, bringing in Morrow from third to field the ball and throw to first, however, with no one covering third, Fregia was able to move up two bases on the play. Mitch Bigras followed Honeyman with an RBI single to right, tying the game at 1-1. Two batters later, Michael Papierski made it 2-1 with a two-out RBI single to left, scoring Bigras. Andy Weber followed with a single to right before Shane Shepard increased the Border Cats’ lead to four with a three-run homer to right.
The Bucks cut the deficit to two with a pair of runs in the seventh. Morrow drew a walk to begin the inning before Lane Milligan brought him in with an RBI double down into the right field corner. Two batters later, McGinnis reached on a dropped third strike, giving the Bucks runners on the corners. Neustrom then drew a walk to load the bases before Hand drew a free pass of his own with the bases loaded, bringing in Milligan.
The Border Cats put one on the board in the seventh to go back in front by three. Weber led off the inning with a single to left for his fourth hit of the evening. Weber then stole second before scoring on Shepard’s RBI single to right.
Solano (3-3) was charged with his second straight loss in the series opener. The right-hander allowed five unearned runs in 5 2/3 innings while matching a season-high with seven strikeouts.
Bryce Reichmann allowed one run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings while Trevor Patterson worked a scoreless eighth inning.
Kay (1-1) recorded his first victory of the season, allowing just one run over six innings on six hits while walking four and striking out a season-high eight. Vinny Santarsiero (4) retired all six batters he faced in the two-inning save.
The Bucks conclude their five-game road trip on Saturday against Thunder Bay. First pitch in the series finale is at 5:05 p.m. with RHP Jordan Accetta (4-1, 3.09) opposing Border Cats’ Cameron Churchill (2-0, 3.41).
Waterloo returns home to Riverfront Stadium on Sunday, July 10th, for the start of a two-game series vs. the Eau Claire Express. First pitch in the series opener on Sunday is at 3:35 p.m.
Sunday’s game is another Kids Eat Free game and a Kids Candy Hunt. Kids 12 and under receive a hot dog, soda and popcorn for free. After the game, kids 12 and under are encouraged to stay for the Kids Candy Hunt. Candy will be spread throughout the infield grass for kids to pick up.
All Waterloo Bucks games can be heard online at waterloobucks.com with Jared Shlensky.