Bucks Defeat Eau Claire After Long Journey Home
The Waterloo Bucks returned home from their five-game road trip and derailed the Eau Claire Express, 5-1, at Riverfront Stadium on Sunday (July 10, 2016).
The Bucks, who won at Thunder Bay Saturday evening, traveled throughout the night so they could play a late-afternoon home game against the Northwoods League's first-half North Division champions. There weren't any signs of fatigue that could have resulted from the 10-hour trip from Canada.
The Bucks arrived in Waterloo at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. Their game against the Express was scheduled to start at 3:35 p.m., but first pitch was delayed one-hour, 38-minutes by a thunderstorm.
Once play got underway, it was a dominating victory for the home team. Eight of the nine players in Waterloo's starting line-up reached base at least once, while the Bucks’ bullpen tossed four scoreless innings and retired 10 of the last 11 Eau Claire hitters it faced.
The Express (2-2, 27-13) scored the game's initial run in the top of the first inning. The Bucks responded with five unanswered runs to secure the victory.
Waterloo (4-1, 26-14) took a 3-1 lead with a trio of unearned runs in the third inning. Zach Weatherford reached base on an Eau Claire fielding error and moved up to third when Brody Weiss doubled down the third base line. Matt Morrow's RBI grounder to first tied the game, before the go-ahead run scored on another Eau Claire error. Taylor Boyd, who was hit by a pitch and stole second, eventually scored the third run on Robert Neustrom's RBI single.
The Bucks extended their lead to four with two runs in the fourth inning. With two outs in the inning, Weatherford singled to right. Then, Weiss lifted a two-run blast just over the left-center field fence for his first home run of the season.
Patrick Boyle (3-1) allowed just one run over five innings in his second home win of the season. The southpaw yielded five hits and four walks while striking out three in his first start of the second half.
With the win, Waterloo maintained a share of first-place in second-half division race.
UP NEXT: Waterloo wraps up its brief two-game home stand on Monday (July 11), again hosting Eau Claire. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. at Riverfront Stadium.
Story Contributor: Jared Schlensky - Waterloo Bucks