Four-Run Eighth Leads Bucks To 7-3 Win At La Crosse
Trailing 3-2 after seven innings, the Waterloo Bucks scored four two-out runs in the top of the eighth to top the La Crosse Loggers, 7-3, in the series finale at Copeland Park Friday night (June 17, 2016).
The win improved the Bucks’ record to 8-0 in the last game of a series and ended the Loggers’ eight-game winning streak. The victory kept Waterloo with the best record in the Northwoods League. The Bucks continue to lead the North Division race, although their advantage is just a half-game over second-place Eau Claire.
Waterloo (12-5) scored two unearned runs in the fourth inning to take an early lead. Adam McGinnis drew a one-out walk before Zack Soria singled to center, giving the Bucks runners at first and second. Lane Milligan followed with a single through the right side on the very first pitch he saw to load the bases. Nate Soria then grounded into a fielder’s choice, however, a La Crosse fielding error on the double play attempt allowed both McGinnis and Zack Soria to score.
Lorenzo Hampton, Jr, trimmed the Bucks’ lead to one, at 2-1, with a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning before Luke Farley tied the game with a solo home run to begin the sixth.
La Crosse (11-7) took its only lead of the night with a two-out run in the seventh inning. Hampton drew a walk before reigning Northwoods League Most Valuable Player Mason McCoy brought him in with an RBI double to right-center.
Waterloo regained the lead with four runs in the eighth. Nate Soria was hit in the leg with the bases loaded to tie the game at 3-3, then three consecutive bases loaded walks drawn by Zac Sanders, Daniel Perry and Zach Weatherford put the Bucks in front 6-3.
The Bucks added an insurance run in the ninth inning to increase their lead to four. Tyler Curtis drew a lead-off walk before swiping second to move into scoring position. Two batters later, Alex Boxwell singled to center, giving the Bucks runners on the corners. A La Crosse wild pitch allowed Curtis to score the final run of the game.
Nate Spielvogel (1-1) recorded the win with an inning in relief. Spielvogel allowed one run on one hit and a walk while striking out one in his first win of the year. Brandon Downey recorded his league-leading fifth save of the year with two scoreless frames out of the bullpen. Downey extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 12 2/3 after yielding three hits and a walk while striking out a pair in his seventh appearance this season.
Patrick Boyle retired the first eight batters he faced in his second straight no-decision. The southpaw allowed two runs on three hits, striking out and walking two over six innings.
Jack Ralston (0-1) suffered the loss for La Crosse. Ralston allowed two runs on a hit batter and a walk in 1/3 of an inning.
UP NEXT: The Bucks begin a two-game homestand on Saturday (June 18) against the Thunder Bay Border Cats, who come to Riverfront Stadium with a 1-16 record. First pitch in the series opener is at 7:05 p.m.
Story By: Jared Schlensky - Waterloo Bucks