Waterloo Bucks Ready To Begin 22nd Baseball Season
A fireworks show is scheduled after the 7:05 p.m. game.
There will be several familiar faces on this year's squad, including seven position players who played for Waterloo in 2015. The returnees include catchers Adam McGinnis (Western Illinois) and Zack Soria (Florida International), infielders Taylor Boyd (St. Joseph's), Jonah Bride (South Carolina), Daniel Perry (Iowa), Luke Stratman (Dallas Baptist), and outfielder Alex Boxwell (Minnesota).
Iowa outfielder Robert Neustrom leads a newcomer squad of eight others. This season for the Hawkeyes, Neustrom hit .293 with one home run, 18 RBI and a team-best three triples as a freshman.
One other newcomer is a Northwoods League veteran with a familiar name. Brody Weiss joins the Bucks after hitting .314 with four home runs and 33 runs batted in and seven stolen bases during his sophomore season at Riverside City College in California. In the summer of 2014, Weiss hit .227 with two home runs, eight RBI and scored 17 runs with the La Crosse Loggers. Weiss is the son of current Colorado Rockies manager Walt Weiss, who played 14 years in the Major Leagues.
Waterloo’s pitching staff features 19 players, seven of whom have played for the Bucks in either 2014 or 2015. The returning veterans include Doug Hayes (Illinois), Lincoln Hochmuth (Augsburg) , Carson McPherson (Oklahoma Baptist), Andrew Muehlberger (Central Missouri), Tim Shannon (Minnesota), Zach Siggelkow (St. Cloud State), and Nate Spielvogel (Merrimack).
Leading the newcomers on the mound is Hunter Spencer (Bellarmine), who joins Waterloo after being named Pitcher of the Year in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Spencer finished the 2016 campaign 6-2 with a 2.18 ERA and a team-best two shutouts and 74.1 innings pitched.
Other new faces on the 2016 Bucks squad will be the coaching staff, led by first-year field manager Scott Douglas.
Douglas, a former assistant coach at UNI, has has 25 years of coaching experience. He replaces former Waterloo skipper Tony Manville.
Joining Douglas is bench coach Justin Jacques, pitching coach Corey Thompson, and hitting coach Jimmy Turk.
When the 22nd edition of Bucks baseball begins this evening, Waterloo will have approximately 20 players in uniform and some of those have signed a temporary contract with the team. The full roster will eventually number 30.