MANKATO, Minn. – On Wednesday evening, the Waterloo Bucks faced death by a thousand cuts.
Despite trailing early in the game by just a run, the Waterloo Bucks (7-22) kept it within that margin. It marked the first time in five games that the Bucks didn’t allow five or more runs within the first couple of innings.
After Mankato MoonDogs (17-14) starter Weston Lombard pitched through the first three innings perfectly, Aaron Ujimori drew a walk before Kyle Huckstorf launched his fourth home run of the season over the left-field wall to give the Bucks the lead 2-1.
It wouldn’t take long for Mankato to strike back as in the very next half-inning, the Dogs tied the ballgame at two.
It was once again the Bucks’ turn to score as in the sixth inning the Bucks sparked a two-out rally capped off by a Colin Kasperbauer 2-run triple to left field that got over the head of MoonDogs left fielder Ariel Armas. The Bucks were back on top 4-2.
However, the fourth and sixth innings are the only two frames in which the Bucks were even able to get baserunners in. Luke Young and Tyson Neighbors came out of the bullpen for Mankato and completely shut down the Bucks in the final third, not allowing a single runner to reach for Waterloo.
Overall, it would be walks and errors that sank the ship for Waterloo as they fell 6-4 to Mankato. Four walks in the seventh, and four walks in the eighth allowed Mankato to score two runs, and a run respectively in each frame.
Anthony Pron took the loss out of the bullpen for Waterloo, while Young took the win, and Neighbors the save. The game ended on a controversial call as Jake Wilhoit tapped a ball off the knob of his bat that rolled into play, he was tagged out by the MoonDogs catcher to end the game.
The Bucks and MoonDogs rematch tomorrow at 6:35 p.m. from ISG Field, capping off four straight games between the two teams. You can listen to tomorrow’s game as well as all Waterloo Bucks road games at waterloobucks.com.