The Waterloo Bucks (13-11) held on in a roller coaster 5-4 extra-innings win at the La Crosse Loggers (11-13) to earn a sweep on Wednesday evening. Waterloo holds a two-game lead on Eau Claire and La Crosse for first place in the Great Plains-East following the sweep.
Dylan Phillips (2-4, HBP, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI) opened the scoring with a three-run home run to dead center in the first after a single by Patrick Ferguson (2-3, BB, HBP, R) and a Bennett Hostetler (1-5, 2 R, 2B) double. Phillips added the fourth run of the game in the third, scoring on an error by La Crosse’s starter.
Austin VanDeWiele smoke-and-mirrored the Loggers across 6.2 strong innings, exiting after allowing a three-run double to Hunter Watson. The Bucks’ righthander allowed the three earned on five hits and three walks, striking out one.
Brett Lockwood navigated Waterloo out of the seventh by inducing a groundout, then worked a one-two-three eighth. With two outs and a runner on first in the ninth, Lockwood coaxed a ground ball to shortstop. Hostetler’s throw pulled Ferguson off the bag, prolonging the inning and setting up a game-tying single by Watson. Lockwood struck out the next batter to strand the winning run on third.
With Hostetler placed on second in the tenth, Phillips was struck by a pitch after the former reached third on a passed ball. Alex Ronnebaum (2-4, BB, RBI) laced an RBI single into left, giving Waterloo the 5-4 advantage.
La Crosse opted to lay down a sacrifice bunt in their half of the tenth, moving the tying run to third base. Lockwood struck out the next batter, then induced another ground ball to shortstop. Hostetler earned redemption with a stunning pick on a short-hop, then flashed his plus arm to throw out the Loggers’ three-hole man by a step and clinch the win. Lockwood earned the win with 3.1 innings, allowing just one unearned run on a hit, a walk and four strikeouts.
Waterloo heads home to begin a four-game series with Eau Claire at 6:35 p.m. Thursday.