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Electrifying Emi, stellar Duffy start and shutdown relief by Treloar and Mautz spark Bucks to 5-2 win in St. Cloud

The Waterloo Bucks (11-4) received brilliant pitching from Ryan Duffy, Aaron Treloar and Brycen Mautz while catcher Emi Gonzalez provided a pair of show-stopping plays as part of a 5-2 win over the St. Cloud Rox (8-5) on Monday evening. Waterloo maintained their 3.0-game lead in the Great Plains-East standings, holding the Rox to just two hits and zero earned runs.

Duffy gave the Bucks a career-best 6.2 innings and allowed just one hit and five walks, striking out a collegiate-most nine batters while not allowing a single earned run. He racked up 11 whiffs on 101 pitches while working at a 50.0% ground-ball rate.

Waterloo opened the game with a leadoff double down the left field line off the bat of Paul Steffensen (1-for-5, R, 2B, RBI), who was moved to third by a Garrett McGowan (1-for-4, BB) groundout. Gabe Garcia (1-for-4, BB, R, RBI) followed by scoring Steffensen with an RBI groundout.

Gabe Baldovino (0-for-2, BB, R) led off the fifth with a walk and moved to second on a Chris Seng (0-for-3, SAC) sacrifice bunt. Baldovino stole third, then scored on a Steffensen groundout.

The Rox scored a pair of unearned runs in the home half of the fifth.

Duffy retired the first two men he faced in the seventh before giving way to Treloar. Waterloo’s righthander allowed a hit, then Gonzalez threw out the runner trying to steal in a massive momentum swing. Moving to the top of the eighth, Garcia bounced a one-out single up the first base line, bringing on Gonzalez. Emi clobbered a 1-1 pitch to deep left, giving the Bucks a 4-2 lead with his first collegiate home run. Two batters later, Reuben Church (1-for-3, HBP) and Ryan McNally (1-for-3, 2 SB) were hit by pitches to put two on for pinch hitter Max Jung-Goldberg. MJG laced an RBI single to left on the first pitch he saw, plating pinch-runner Tynan Shahidi.

Treloar earned his first collegiate win in relief with a full scoreless frame, allowing just a hit and a walk. Mautz slammed the door for the save, going 1.1 innings of one-walk baseball with two strikeouts.

Waterloo and St. Cloud close their series on Tuesday night at Joe Faber Field at 7:05 p.m. CST.