The Waterloo Bucks gained a three-run advantage in the eighth inning, only to see it disappear in a 9-8 loss against the Alexandria Blue Anchors Saturday night (Aug. 1, 2015).

After a five-run rally in the top of the eighth inning for the Bucks, Alexandria (27-38/15-15) answered with four runs in the bottom of the frame to take the series opener from Waterloo. The Bucks (29-36/11-18) left the bases loaded in two different innings while leaving the tying runner in scoring position in the top of the ninth.

Doug Hayes (4-4) (Illinois) suffered the loss for Waterloo after allowing five total runs and all four to score in the bottom of the eighth. Mikal Hill (Winston-Salem St.) finished with two doubles and three RBIs while Zach McKinstry (Central Michigan) scored two runs and added three hits in the loss.

Eric White (4-2) (Dallas Baptist) picked up with win for the Blue Anchors over one inning of work while Tyler Hasper (Heartland CC) took the save with back-to-back strikeouts in the ninth to end the game.

Alexandria got on the board in the bottom of the first with a three-run home run provided by slugger Ricky Sanchez (Notre Dame).

Matt Hopfner (Northwestern) walked to open the second for the Anchors, move to second on a wild pitch and came in to score on an error at second base by Waterloo’s Taylor Boyd (St. Joseph’s). The Bucks kept it at a 4-0 deficit when Tim Millard (Dallas Baptist) headed a 5-1-3 double play to escape a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the third.

Back-to-back doubles by McKinstry and Hill to open the fourth frame gave Waterloo an answer and a run on the board to make it 4-1.

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After a one-out base on balls, the Bucks went to the bullpen for starting pitcher Lincoln Hochmuth (Augsburg) in the bottom of the fourth. As the 15th player to start a Waterloo game this season, Hochmuth gave up four runs on four hits along with three walks and a strikeout in his Northwoods League debut.

Hayes took over on the mound and recorded the final two outs to escape the fourth with the Bucks trailing, 4-1. The southpaw took the loss on the night with four innings completed and being charged with five runs on five hits coupled with two walks and a pair of strikeouts.

The Bucks trimmed the lead in half when Boyd charged across the plate on a Jonah Bide (Neosho County CC) ground ball fielded for an error at third base in the top of the fifth. Boyd recorded one of his two singles to start the rally and made it a 4-2 game on the bases-loaded error.

Trooper Reynolds (Dallas Baptist) answered for Alexandria in the bottom of the fifth when he singled with two outs in the inning. After a walk, Hopfner singled to bring in Reynolds for a 5-2 advantage.

Waterloo continued the scoring in the sixth as Tyler Selesky (Florida Gulf Coast) singled in Millard from third base to account for a 5-3 score. Then, the Bucks pieced together a five-run top of the eighth to construct a three-run lead of their own.

After Zach Fricke (Iowa) flew out to open the eighth, Waterloo loaded the bases again as Boyd singled in front of consecutive walks to Selesky and McKinstry. Hill and Bride delivered in the following at-bats, each contributing a two-RBI double to the outfield wall. Bride was thrown out at home on an attempted double steal before Matthew Stemper (Minnesota) drove in the final run with a single into right to give the Bucks their first lead, 8-5.

The Blue Anchors replicated the opening of the frame in the bottom of the eighth by loading up the bases on two singles and a walk on one out. Steve Sada (Miami-Ohio) sent Hopfner in with a shallow single to left to cut it to 8-6 before Hayes exited from the mound.

Charlie Naso, Jr. (Illinois) failed to retire the side, giving up the go-ahead runs on a pass ball and Drew Fearing (North Dakota St.) two-RBI single into right field. The Bucks failed to recover, ending the game in a 9-8 decision.

Waterloo closes the season series with Alexandria Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m..

The Bucks return home Monday for a 7:05 p.m. battle with the Thunder Bay Border Cats. It will be the final Buck Monday home game where fans get regular hot dogs for just $1.50, plus 10 oz. draft beer, 12 oz. sodas, small popcorn, and ice cream sandwiches are just $1 each. Sponsored by K98.5.

Tickets are available at waterloobucks.com. You can also visit the Bucks Ticket Office at Riverfront Stadium or call (319)-232-5633. Bucks' games are broadcast live on waterloobucks.com.

Story By: Matt Gruemmer