WATERLOO, IOWA- The Waterloo Bucks (39-33) grabbed the lead in the bottom of the third and never let go in an 8-4 regular season finale win over the Duluth Huskies (31-41) on Sunday, August 13. The victory marks regular season win number 800 in Waterloo Bucks franchise history. Jay Schuyler was the iron man for the Bucks in 2017 by playing in all 72 games.
Kyle Hubbuch drilled a double down the first base line to put the Huskies on the board first 1-0 in the top of the first inning.
The Bucks answered on a Zach Malis double to right field in the bottom of the third inning. The two-bagger was followed up by an RBI groundout to short by Jay Schuyler to give the Bucks a 2-1 lead. Jake Viaene dropped an RBI single down the left field line as the Bucks took control off of Duluth starting pitcher Ryan Tapani (2-1).
Duluth got a run back on a wild pitch in the top of the fourth inning from Carlisle Koestler (1-3) out of the bullpen as the Bucks used six different pitchers in the win.
The Bucks benefited from a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth making it 4-2 Bucks and they were not done yet. Keaton Presley drove in a run on a sac-fly to left center and Nicol Mislinski doubled off of the left field wall in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Chase Strumpf proved that the Huskies were in it to end their season on a high note with a two-run single laced up the middle in the top of the seventh.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, a wild pitch and a dramatic steal of home plate by Anthony Warneke padded the Bucks lead at 8-4 heading to the ninth where Matt Whalen sealed off the victory.
An Eau Claire loss would guarantee a playoff berth for the Bucks but an Eau Claire win eliminates Waterloo from playoff contention.
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.