LA CROSSE, Wis. – Revenge; oh, how sweet it is.
A night after the La Crosse Loggers (1-1, 17-19) walked off the Waterloo Bucks (1-1, 10-26) the Bucks flipped the script this time taking the victory in ten innings, 10-9.
The game started off hot for Waterloo when it scored twice in the opening frame when Raphael Pelletier and Mason Dobie hit RBI singles to take a 2-0 lead. But the lead wouldn’t last long as a Sam Hojnar bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, and an Ace Whitehead bases-loaded walk tied the game at two apiece.
The Bucks then took the lead again in a back-and-forth first third when Ryan Guardino tied the Northwoods League lead with his eighth home run of the season traveling 386 feet, immediately followed by Jake Wilhoit’s second to make it a 5-2 lead once again.
But back-and-forth the ballgame would go once more as La Crosse scored five runs in the bottom of the third to take a 7-5 lead, Hojnar’s two-run home run for his first hit of the season highlighted the inning.
The Bucks would continue to chip away and score again when Guardino scored on a passed ball in the fourth, and score three more in the sixth helped by a 2 RBI single by Andrew Rantz to right to take the lead back 9-7.
The theme of the game would reintroduce itself as the Loggers scored another in the bottom of the seventh off a sac fly by Landon Wallace that scored Brennan Holt from third.
The Bucks were clinging to a narrow one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth. But a pair of free passes and a sac bunt put runners at second and third with one out. Yet again it would be Wallace lifting a sac fly to center to tie the game, but the inning ended when Luke Leto grounded out to clinch extra innings for the second straight game.
In the 10th, fans at Copeland Park were once again treated to free baseball. Raphael Pelletier represented the go-ahead run as the extra-inning runner at second base. Shaydon Kubo would move him up 90 feet before Dobie laced his fourth base hit of the night into the outfield to score Pelletier to go up 10-9.
Copeland Park had a craving for the dramatic as in the bottom of the 10th, pinch hitter Coby Morales drew a one-out walk to put two runners aboard. But a Whitehead flyout put the final out at-bat on the shoulders of pinch hitter Aidan Sweatt.
Sweatt looped a ball towards right-center but Cameron Cromer was there to make the spectacular play with the glove to end the ballgame and send the Bucks back to Waterloo victors, and .500 in the second half of the season with the split.
The Bucks now return to Riverfront Stadium for a meeting on Friday with the Willmar Stingers and their manager, former Waterloo hitting coach, Freddy Smith. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., you can still buy tickets at waterloobucks.com. If you can’t make it out to the ballpark you can stream the game for free on Watch NWL.