Bucks Drop Sixth-Straight As Rally Falls Short [Video]
The Waterloo Bucks scored six runs in the final two frames at St. Cloud, but their comeback fell short in a 10-7 loss to the Rox Thursday night (July 30, 2015).
Zach Fricke (Iowa) started the offensive surge when he registered his first hit wearing a Waterloo uniform. Pinch-hitting in the eighth inning, Fricke blasted a towering, three-run home run over the right field wall to narrow the deficit to 10-4.
The second-half, North-Division-leading Rox utilized early scoring to hold off Waterloo’s three-run rally in the ninth, as St. Cloud handed hand the Bucks (29-34/11-16) their sixth-consecutive loss, their longest streak of the season. Matthew James (Illinois) was dominant on the mound and in the box for the Bucks, collecting four strikeouts over two scoreless innings of relief while contributing one hit and an RBI in five at-bats.
St. Cloud (40-22/21-7) jumped to an early lead in the top of the first with two lead-off walks at home. Brett Pope (Western Carolina) received the first base on balls and scored the opening-inning run on an RBI-single to left from Liam Bedford (Doane) for the 1-0 lead.
Taylor Lane (Florida) singled to start the second for the Bucks and was brought in when James sent a single into left field that was fielded as an error. After Waterloo tied the game, 1-1, the Rox utilized nine unanswered runs over four consecutive innings to take a 10-1 lead.
Brian Polowy (1-2) (North Central) ended his start through four complete innings of six-run ball. The right-hander was charged with only three earned runs on five hits along with a trio of walks and four strikeouts.
Nick Newman (St. Cloud St.) took his collegiate home turf to open the fifth and was rattled for the four remaining runs, one earned, on four hits in one inning of work. Webb Bobo (Southeastern Louisiana) opened the fifth with a single for the Rox and, following a pass ball that got him to second, scored to make it a 7-1 advantage on Michael Strem’s (Boston College) base-hit single.
The Rox sent across on unearned run and loaded the bases on back-to-back errors in the bottom of the sixth before Andrew Davis (Barton) entered for Waterloo out of the bullpen to clean up the mess. Barton walked one batter before recording the final two putouts in the frame as the Bucks faced a nine-run deficit heading to the seventh.
With no offensive support in the top of the inning, James moved from right field and toed the hill for the Bucks to strike out the side looking in the bottom of the seventh. The right-hander went the rest of the way on the mound, surrendering no runs on one hit and one base on balls.
Waterloo was given two free bases to open the eighth as Zach McKinstry (Central Michigan) was hit by a pitch and Tim Millard (Dallas Baptist) received a ground ball error to shortstop before Fricke came to the plate as a pinch-hitter for Jonah Bride (Neosho County CC). Then, in his fifth at-bat of 2015, Fricke delivered a two-out, three-run home run over the right field wall off St. Cloud reliever Jesse Anderson (Indian Hills CC) to dent the score, 10-4.
The Bucks rallied for three quick scores in the ninth, but could not complete the comeback on the road in a 10-7 final. Tyler Selesky (Florida Gulf Coast) reached on an error at shortstop to open the inning and scored to open the attempt on a single from Lane. Millard drove in Kelly with an RBI-single while a James fielder’s choice grounder to second base drove in Lane for the last run of the evening.
Waterloo continues the road trip with the series-finale with the Rox at Joe Faber Field Friday at 7:05 PM. Then, the Bucks open their final two-game series of the year with the Blue Anchors in Alexandria for games on Saturday and Sunday.
The Bucks return home on Monday for a 7:05 PM 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.
Story By: Matt Gruemmer