WATERLOO, IOWA- The Duluth Huskies (3-0) fought back to erase a five run deficit and eventually defeat the Waterloo Bucks (1-2) in 10 innings 8-7 at Riverfront Stadium on Thursday night (June 1).
The Bucks manufactured runs early including Grant Hawkins' leadoff walk, steal of second base (advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher Jim Reemsnyder). Only a few pitches later, the Duluth starting pitcher Victor Santana tossed a wild pitch allowing Hawkins to score the first run of the game.
Korry Howell reached base in the bottom of the third inning and promptly stole second and third base before scoring on an RBI sacrifice-fly by Jay Schuyler.
In the bottom of the fifth, Zach Malis delivered an RBI single and later scored on an RBI double from Josh Elvir. The Bucks weren't done yet as Colin Kreiter punched an RBI single of his own to put the Bucks ahead 5-0 after five innings.
Duluth started its comeback in the top of the seventh inning off of reliever Matthew Perea. Anthony Ruden pitched six scoreless innings and struck out four batters in a starting role. Reemsnyder laced a two-run double to get the Huskies on the board trailing 5-2. Two more runs came in via a wild pitch and infield RBI single by Augie Isaacson but Brandon Downey came out of the Bucks bullpen to work out of the bases loaded jam keeping it 5-4 Waterloo at the seventh inning stretch.
Malis answered for Waterloo by crushing a two-run homer to right field put the Bucks ahead by three runs, 7-4.
Zachary McLeod (0-1) started out dominant out of the pen with two big strikeouts ending the eighth inning. He took the three run lead into the top of the ninth inning, struck out the first batter he faced but surrendered a game-tying three-run homer to Caleb Robinson of the Huskies.
The game went to extra innings all knotted 7-7. The Huskies snagged their first lead of the game in the top of the tenth on a fielding error by the Buck shortstop Drew Greenwood. He almost threw out Kai Gomez at first on a close play that would have ended the frame.
Kevin Folman (1) replaced Gaylon Viney in the bottom of the tenth and with the help of his defense picked up the save. Waterloo put the game tying run at second base but the contest ended on a flare off of the bat of Hawkins caught on a dive by Rudy Karre.
Trevor Smisek (1-0) pitched three relief innings of shutout baseball to earn the win.
The Bucks and Huskies conclude the two game series tomorrow at Riverfront Stadium with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch. Come early to see a variety of Classic Cars parked in the stadium. The first 1000 fans will get a Magnet Schedule presented by Burger King, Hampton Inn of Waterloo, and Servpro. Throughout the game hundreds of Cars T-Shirts will be thrown out. Stay for the Post-Game Fireworks Extravaganza!
The Waterloo Bucks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.waterloobucks.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Bucks as your favorite team.