Five strong innings from Kyle Leahy in his Northwoods League debut and a solid effort from the bullpen led the Waterloo Bucks to a 5-2 victory at Mankato Saturday night (July 30, 2016).

At the plate, Lane Milligan led the Bucks' offense with three hits as he finished a home run shy of the cycle. Tyler Curtis and Justin Beck also reached base three times on the night.

Waterloo (9-13, 31-26) jumped in front 2-0 with a pair of runs in the first inning. Zach Weatherford drew a lead-off walk before Milligan brought him around with an RBI triple to right-center field. Curtis then brought Milligan home with an RBI single down the right field line.

Mankato (13-8, 35-21) quickly countered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first, tying the game at 2-2, but Waterloo regained the lead with a pair of runs in the sixth. Milligan started the inning with a double to right-center before Curtis singled to right. Adam McGinnis then followed with an RBI single to center. Curtis later scored on a dropped third-strike passed ball with the bases loaded, putting the Bucks up 4-2.

Waterloo scored its final run of the night with two outs in the eighth inning. McGinnis reached on an error before Travon Benton drew a walk. After Robert Neustrom lined into a double play, Beck delivered an RBI single to left, plating Benton from third.

The MoonDogs narrowed the deficit to 5-3 when Gavin Wehby slugged a solo home run to right-center to begin the bottom of the ninth inning.

Leahy (1-0) allowed just two runs on six hits, striking out five and walking two over five innings in the win. The freshman right-hander from Colorado Mesa just joined the Bucks on Thursday.

Trevor Patterson, Hunter Spencer and Brandon Downey each pitched one inning of scoreless relief before Derek Hendrixson gave up the run in the ninth. Hendrixson stuck out the final two batters of the night to record his fifth save of the season.

UP NEXT: The Bucks end their two-game series at Mankato on Sunday (July 31) before Monday's scheduled split-site, day-night doubleheader against the La Crosse Loggers. The Bucks host the nightcap, starting at 7:05 p.m. at Riverfront Stadium.

Story Contributor: Jared Schlensky - Waterloo Bucks​