WILLMAR, MN- The Waterloo Bucks (25-13) overcome an early two run deficit to defeat the Willmar Stingers (19-19) 5-3 on Thursday, July 6 to pick up their first victory of the Northwoods League second half.
Willmar drew first blood on a Nolan Bumstead single in the bottom of the first inning. Another run was tacked on by the Stingers on a two-out RBI triple by Marcus Still in the bottom of the second as the Stingers controlled an early 2-0 advantage. The triple by Still was the last hit of the game for Willmar.
The Bucks got on the board thanks to an RBI single to right field by Zach Malis cutting the early lead in half 2-1 in the top of the fourth.
Ryan Garcia in a starting role fired off five inning and then was relieved by Matthew Perea (3-0) who tossed a three, three down inning in the bottom of the sixth.
The turning point of the game came in the top of the seventh inning when the Bucks loaded up the bases and an error brought around the tying run. A batter later, Ian Nelson reached and picked up an RBI on an infield single to the right side. Jay Schuyler rounded out the scoring in the seventh on an RBI single, all of a sudden the Bucks controlled a 4-2 lead.
Grant Hawkins delivered a pinch hit RBI single up the middle in the top of the eighth as the Bucks lead grew to 5-2.
An RBI fielder's choice by Brady Shockey got the run back for the Stingers but Ryan Dunne (2) shut the door in the bottom of the ninth.
The Bucks return home to Riverfront Stadium tomorrow night, July 7 on Super Hero night against the St. Cloud Rox at 6:35 p.m.
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.