Bucks comeback falls just short in 5-4 loss to Duluth

The Waterloo Bucks (13-5) clawed their way back from a 4-0 and 5-2 deficit but saw their comeback effort come up just short in a 5-4 loss to the Duluth Huskies (6-12) on Friday evening. Thanks to a La Crosse loss to Willmar, the Bucks still own a 3.0-game lead in the Great-Plains East.

Trailing 4-0 in the fifth, Paul Steffensen (2-for-4, R, SB) led off with a single and stole second. On his steal the pitch got away from Duluth’s catcher, allowing Steffensen to coast into third. Mike Campagna (0-for-2, RBI) plated Steffensen with an RBI groundout to second, then an out later Gabe Baldovino (0-for-2, BB, R, SAC) drew a walk and stole second before Chris Seng (0-for-2, 2 BB, R) likewise took ball four. Ryan McNally (2-for-4, HBP, R, RBI) stroked an RBI single to left-center, scoring Baldovino and trimming the deficit to two.

Duluth added a run heading into the eighth. Seng led off the home half with a walk, followed by McNally being hit by a pitch. Sam Biller (1-for-4, RBI) laced a run-scoring single down the right field line but was thrown out at second as McNally took third. Max Jung-Goldberg (1-for-3, HBP, RBI) bounced an infield single to the three-hole, scoring McNally as he beat the pitcher to the bag.

The Bucks managed to put two runners on in scoring position in the ninth but a pair of great defensive plays ended their comeback effort.

Johnny Tincher (2-for-2) rapped a pair of base hits off the bench and threw out a runner in his Bucks debut.

Waterloo opens a two-game road series at Willmar on Saturday with a 7:05 p.m. CST first pitch.