The Waterloo Bucks pounded out a season-high 16 hits in a 7-2 win at Willmar Thursday night (June 23, 2016). The victory keeps Waterloo just one game back of St. Cloud for first place in the Northwoods League's North Division race.

The Bucks got a quality start from Brett Solano (2-1), who retired six of the first seven hitters he faced in his first road start of the year. The right-hander allowed just two runs on four hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out a pair of hitters, while recording the first win by a Waterloo starter in 10 days.

Waterloo (15-7) took a 1-0 lead with a run in the fourth. Lane Milligan began the inning with a single to leftfield, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Zack Soria brought around Milligan with an RBI double down the left field line.

The Bucks extended their lead to five with four runs in the sixth. Taylor Boyd’s RBI fielder’s choice made it 2-0 and Alex Boxwell followed with an RBI single to right. After Tyler Curtis drew a walk to load the bases, Adam McGinnis plated Boyd and Boxwell for the final two runs of the inning.

Willmar (11-12) cut the Waterloo lead to three with two runs in the seventh, but the Bucks responded with a pair of runs in the eighth inning. Soria’s two-run double to right-center drove in McGinnis and Milligan for the final two runs of the night. McGinnis, Milligan and Soria each led the Bucks with three hits while every Bucks starter reached base at least once on the night.

Bryce Reichmann (1) and Derek Hendrixson (1) each recorded holds in relief, while Brandon Downey struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth in a non-save situation. In nine appearances and 14 1/3 innings this season, Downey has yet to allow an earned run.

UP NEXT: Waterloo goes for the series sweep of the Stingers Friday night (June 24) at Bill Taunton Stadium. As part of their six-game road trip, the Bucks open a two-game series at Duluth on Saturday.

Story By: Jared Schlensky - Waterloo Bucks​