Bucks fall to Express in series finale, 10-6
Waterloo is idle on Tuesday before playing two games on Wednesday in Minnesota vs. the Rochester Honkers.
By: Jared Shlensky
WATERLOO, Iowa – Three-hit nights from Taylor Boyd and Waterloo, Iowa, native Zach Fricke weren’t enough in the series finale as the Bucks fell to the Eau Claire Express, 10-6, on Tuesday. The Express scored half of their runs with two outs and had every starter record at least record one hit on the night.
Eau Claire (3-2, 28-13) struck first for the second straight game with three two-out runs in the top of the first. Kyle Marinconz recorded the first hit of the game with a single to center. Daulton Varsho then pulled a single into right, however, the ball went under the glove of right fielder Robert Neustrom, allowing Marinconz to advance to third and move Varsho up to third. Two batters later, Rudy Rott drove in the first runs of the game with a two-run single to left-center. Austin Guzzo made it 3-0 with an RBI double to right before Jared Mang brought him in for the final run of the inning with an RBI single to right.
The Express extended their lead to five with an unearned run in the second. Zach Ashford reached on an infield single to the left side to begin the inning. Varsho flipped a single into left for his second hit of the evening with two outs, giving Eau Claire runners on the corners. Guzzo then reached on the second Waterloo fielding error of the day, allowing Ashford to score from third.
Waterloo (4-2, 26-15) trimmed the Eau Claire lead to 5-1 with their first run of the night in the third. Back-to-back hits to begin the frame from Fricke and Matt Morrow gave the Bucks two runners in scoring position. Lane Milligan followed with an RBI groundout to the left side, scoring Fricke from third.
The Bucks cut the Eau Claire lead in half with two runs in the fifth. Fricke and Morrow started the inning with back-to-back singles before Boyd filled the bases with a single to center. Neustrom made it a 5-3 game with a two-run single back through the middle, plating both Fricke and Morrow.
Eau Claire extended their lead to seven with five runs in the top of the ninth. Marinconz doubled to left-center to start the inning before McKeena struck out swinging for the first out of the inning. Rott and Guzzo were both intentionally walked, loading the bases for Mang. Mang made Waterloo pay with a two-run double down the left field line, plating both Marinconz and Rott. Sam Hurt then entered the game as a pinch-runner for Mang before Mickey McDonald extended the Express’ lead to six with a two-run double to right-center, bringing in both Guzzo and Hurt. McDonald then stole third before scoring on Cody Bohanek’s RBI groundout to the left side.
Waterloo scored last with three runs of their own in the bottom of the ninth. Three straight singles from Jake Hand, Boyd and Neustrom loaded the bases to begin the inning. Adam McGinnis followed Neustrom with an RBI groundout to the left side, scoring Hand. Two batters later, Alex Boxwell made it 10-6 with a two-run double to left.
Steven Baker (1-2) suffered the loss in the series finale. The right-hander allowed a season-high five runs (four earned) on seven hits, striking out two and walking two. Bryce Reichmann and Jason Foster each tossed one scoreless inning of relief while Jonathan Buckley retired the only batter he faced in 1/3 of an inning.
Caleb Boushley (5-1) recorded a quality start in his team-high fifth win of the year. The right-hander allowed three runs on eight hits over six innings, striking out three and walking two.
Waterloo is idle on Tuesday before playing two games on Wednesday in Rochester, Minn., vs. the Honkers. The Bucks and Honkers first complete their suspended game from Tuesday, July 5th, at 5:05 p.m. with Waterloo trailing Rochester, 6-2, in the fifth inning before playing a seven-inning game at 7:05 p.m.
The Bucks return home on Thursday, July 14th, for the start of a four-game homestand against the Duluth Huskies. First pitch in the series opener is at 7:05 p.m.
Thursday’s game is a Thirsty Thursday and College Night. College students receive a reserved seat ticket and two hot dogs for $7.00 while bottled water, 24 oz. fountain soda, 12 oz. draft beer and small popcorn cost just $2.00.
All Waterloo Bucks games can be heard online at waterloobucks.com with Jared Shlensky.