WATERLOO, IOWA- The Waterloo Bucks (27-13) grabbed an early lead and hung on to defeat the St. Cloud Rox (26-14) 4-2 for the two-game series sweep. After the win, the Bucks now own the best overall record in the Northwoods League North Division while improving to 3-1 in the second half.
Ian Nelson set the tone with a solo homer to right center as Waterloo's leadoff batter in the bottom of the first inning. When the Bucks needed a clutch hit in the bottom of the second, it was Nelson delivering a two-run single to right field making it 3-0 Bucks.
John Cable blasted his first home run of the season over the right field fence in the bottom of the fifth extending the Bucks lead out to 4-0 with Rox starting pitcher Ryan Shreve (3-2) in line for the loss. On the bump for the Bucks, Anthony Ruden (3-1) cruised through six innings until he walked in a run with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh. Another run was brought in on a Cameron Eden sacrifice fly to center to cut the deficit in half 4-2.
Brandon Downey pitched two strong innings in relief before Ryan Dunne (3) slammed the door shut in the top of the ninth as the Bucks won their third game in a row.
The Bucks travel up Highway 63 tomorrow, July 9 to take on the familiar Rochester Honkers at 1:05 p.m. at Mayo Field.
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.