Bennett Hostetler (3-4, 2B, RBI) played the hero in support of a dominant bullpen effort by the Waterloo Bucks (12-11) as they took down the La Crosse Loggers (11-12) by a 5-4 final on Tuesday evening. With the win, Waterloo is again in sole possession of first place in the Great Plains-East.
The Bucks opened the scoring in a wild fifth inning as Mike Nyisztor (0-2, 3 BB, R) walked, moved to second on a Hostetler sacrifice bunt then stole third. Patrick Ferguson drew a walk to bring Dylan Phillips to the plate, who promptly laid down an RBI bunt single to score Nyisztor. On the very next pitch, Alex Ronnebaum (1-5, R, HR, 3 RBI) blasted a moonshot three-run homer to deep right field. La Crosse responded to the Bucks’ big frame with a four-run fifth of their own, knotting the game up at 4-4.
Adam Ketelsen tossed 5.2 innings of four-run baseball, scattering 7 hits and a walk while striking out four. The lefty received a no-decision while working at a 69.2% first-pitch strike rate and racking up 10 whiffs on 85 pitches. Jimmy Smiley relieved Ketelsen in the sixth, escaping the frame and going on to fire 2.1 scoreless innings of two-hit, one-walk ball with three punchouts to pick up the win.
With one out in the eighth, Sam Olson (0-3, 2 BB, R) and Nyisztor drew back-to-back walks, bringing up Hostetler. Waterloo’s shortstop belted a double off the base of the centerfield wall to score Olson and take the lead.
Alec Holcomb earned his second save of the year, dealing a scoreless ninth while striking out two.
The Bucks and La Crosse conclude their series on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. on the Bucks Radio Network powered by 1650 The Fan.