Season-opening victories are becoming a tradition for the Waterloo Bucks. They started their 2016 campaign with a 7-4 win over St. Cloud at Riverfront Stadium Tuesday night (May 31, 2016).

It marked the fifth-straight year the Bucks have won their inaugural game. Waterloo looked impressive, after rain delayed the start of the contest one-hour, 20-minutes.

Jared Crescentini tossed six shutout innings while the Bucks offense jumped out to an early 6-0 lead through seven innings. Crescentini (1-0) retired eight in a row at one point and allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out three over six shutout frames.

Eight of the nine Bucks hitters recorded at least one hit, while Colin Kreiter and Tyler Curtis paced the offense with two hits each.

Waterloo (1-0) struck first with a run in the first inning. Blake Alexander drove in Daniel Perry for the first run of the year with an RBI single through the right side.

The Bucks doubled their lead in the third on a two-out RBI double by Curtis, plating Zac Sanders from first.

Waterloo made it 4-0 with two more runs in the fifth. After Adam McGinnis was plunked in the ribs with two outs in the frame, Kreiter brought him in with an RBI single to left. A throwing error by St. Cloud (0-1) third baseman Trevor Putzig allowed Kretier to score the final run of the fifth.

The Bucks tacked on two more runs in the seventh to go up 6-0. Curtis led off the frame with a double off the base of the centerfield wall and came around to score two batters later on Kreiter’s RBI single to left. Jake Hand then reached on an infield single, giving the Bucks runners on the corners. Zach Fricke followed Hand with a sacrifice fly to center, bringing in Kreiter from third.

St. Cloud (0-1) did not go down without a fight, as the Rox scored four runs on six straight hits to open the top of the eighth. Quentin Sefcik started the inning with a single to left and then came around to score the Rox’ first run of the year on Austin LaDoux RBI double to center. Reliever Aaron Rozek cut the Bucks lead to four with an RBI double to right-center. Shelby Lackey made it 6-3 with an RBI single to center, bringing in Rozek from second. Lackey reached base in all four of his plate appearances and finished the night a perfect 3-for-3. Chris Quitzer added the Rox’ final run of the night with an RBI single to right.

Perry’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth was the game’s final run and extended the Bucks lead to 7-4.

Brandon Downey (1) recorded the Bucks first save of the year with two scoreless innings in relief. The right-hander retired six of the seven hitters he faced, including two via a strikeout.

Right-hander Austin Caspersen (0-1) was tagged with the loss for the Rox. Caspersen was charged with four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out a pair across four innings.

The Bucks close out their two-game home series with St. Cloud at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Riverfront Stadium. Left-handed pitcher Patrick Boyle is scheduled to start for Waterloo. The game will feature a Twins Ticket Giveaway, with one fan receiving a pair of tickets to an upcoming Minnesota Twins game this season.

Story By: Jared Shlensky - Waterloo Bucks