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Published On: August 16th, 2021

Waterloo Bucks left fielder Jackson Lyon (3-for-5, R, HR, 5 RBI) blasted a two-run home run and drove in five while Michael Mitchell struck out six over 6.0 innings of three-run ball to lead Waterloo to an 8-6 win over the Duluth Huskies in Game One of the 2021 Great Plains-East Subdivisional Series on Sunday evening. The postseason win is the Bucks’ first since the 2002 Northwoods League Championship game, giving them a 1-0 lead in the series.

Mitchell cruised through his 6.0 innings of work to earn his second win of the season, allowing just two earned on six hits and a walk while punching out six. The righthander pounded the zone at a 64.4% rate while racking up 10 whiffs on 101 pitches.

The Bucks opened the scoring in the third as Jalen Smith (0-for-3, 2 BB, 3 R) reached on a fielder’s choice and went to second on the ensuing rundown before Max Jung-Goldberg (1-for-5, RBI) poked a go-ahead RBI single into center. Duluth stuck back two innings later with a two-run home run, presenting Waterloo with a 2-1 deficit.

Emi Gonzalez (1-for-2, 2 BB, HBP, R, RBI) led off the top of the fifth with a walk, then Lyon demolished a 2-0 pitch out to deep left field for his fifth homer of 2021. Waterloo loaded the bases with one away an inning later as Sam Biller (1-for-3, 2 HBP, R) and Liam Critchett (1-for-4, HBP, R, 2B) were hit by pitches then Smith drew a walk. A flyout brought Gonzalez to the box, with the Bucks’ designated hitter watching four pitches miss wide to plate the go-ahead run. Lyon brought in two more with a single down the left field line to give Waterloo a 6-3 lead.

Luke Fennelly (1-for-3, BB, HBP, R, 2B) was hit by a pitch to open the seventh and came all the way around to score on a Tavan Shahidi (1-for-3, BB, HBP, 2B, RBI) double smashed into right-center. Lyon plated his fifth run of the game an inning later, scoring Smith with an RBI single into right that Duluth’s rightfielder misplayed looking into the sun.

Anthony Pron worked a scoreless seventh with one strikeout. Duluth scored two in the eighth, then put two men on in scoring position with none retired in the ninth. Zach Button entered into the jam, allowing a single then retiring the next three batters including one strikeout to earn his sixth save of the summer.

Waterloo will go for the series win in Game Two on Monday evening in Waterloo with a 6:35 p.m. CST first pitch at Riverfront Stadium.