Crowl, Solano lead Bucks to 7-4 win


Waterloo returns home tomorrow for a two-game series against the Willmar Stingers

Box Score:

By: Jared Shlensky

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO, Canada – A three-hit night from Iowa native Kyle Crowl and 6 1/3 strong innings from Brett Solano led the Waterloo Bucks to a 7-2 win over the Thunder Bay Border Cats on Wednesday. The win gives the Bucks their 13th series split of the season and improves the Bucks’ record to 18-7 in the last game of a series.

After trailing 8-0 through the first five innings of last night’s game, Waterloo jumped in front 1-0 with a run in the second. Jake Hand worked a leadoff walk to begin the inning before moving all the way up to third on two wild pitches from southpaw Dan McBryan. Three hitters later, Waterloo, Iowa, native Zach Fricke brought in the first run of the night with an RBI groundout to the left side of the infield.

Waterloo (8-11, 30-24) doubled their lead to 2-0 with another run in the third. Zach Weatherford drew his second five-pitch walk of the night to begin the inning. Lane Milligan followed Weatherford with a single to center, moving Weatherford all the up to third. Tyler Curtis then scored Weatherford with a sacrifice fly to right-center.

The Bucks increased their lead to five with three runs in the top of the fourth. Alex Boxwell led off the inning with a single to center, extending his personal-best hitting streak to 10 games.  Crowl then singled to right, moving Boxwell to third. Crowl stole second before Luke Barry delivered a two-run single to right, plating both Boxwell and Crowl. The two-run single for Barry was his first Northwoods League hit.  Milligan put the Bucks up 5-0 with a two-out RBI single to center, bringing Barry from second.

Thunder Bay (7-10 13-38) cut the Waterloo lead to three on Anthony Brocato’s two-run home run to left in the bottom of the fourth. The home run was his team-leading eighth of the season and the third homer of the series for the Border Cats.

An unearned run in the top of the fifth put Waterloo in front, 6-2. Hand started the frame with a single to center, however, the ball got past Jesse Lee, allowing Hand to move up to second on the first of two errors in the inning. Boxwell advanced Hand to third with a deep flyout to right, however, the throw to third from Brocato sailed into the Bucks’ dugout, allowing Hand to score.

Waterloo went up by five with a two-out run in the top of the seventh. Robert Neustrom singled back through the middle before Hand drew a walk. Boxwell then reached on a fielder’s choice, giving Waterloo runners on the corners. Crowl followed with an RBI single to center, his first Northwoods League RBI.

The Border Cats added two more runs in the bottom of seventh, cutting Waterloo’s lead to 7-4. With runners on first and second and two outs, Brocato recorded his third and fourth RBI’s of the evening with a two-run double off the base of the left wall, scoring both Michael Papierski and Shane Shepard.

Solano (5-4) allowed four runs on ten hits over 6 1/3 innings in the win, striking out six and walking two. Hunter Spencer (6) and Brandon Downey (1) each recorded holds. Spencer retired two of the four hitters he faced, yielding a hit and a walk in ascoreless 2/3 of an inning. Downey allowed three hits and one struck out one in the bottom of the eighth.

Derek Hendrixson (4) tossed his fourth straight scoreless appearance in the save. Hendrixson retired all three batters he faced, including a strikeout to end the game.

McBryan (0-3) suffered the loss in his shortest start of the season. The southpaw allowed two runs on two hits over three innings, walking three and striking out five.  

Waterloo returns to Riverfront Stadium on Thursday for a two-game series vs. the Willmar Stingers. Gates open at 6 p.m. followed by first pitch at 7:05 p.m. RHP Steven Baker (1-4, 2.83) starts tomorrow for Waterloo while Willmar has yet to announce their starter.

Thursday’s game is a Twins Ticket Giveaway, College Night and a Thirsty Thursday. One lucky fan will receive a pair of tickets to an upcoming Minnesota Twins game this season. 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 with Jared Shlensky. ​