Fresh off Thursday's embarrassing loss, the Waterloo Bucks had two choices heading into the series finale with the Kalamazoo Growlers (5-13) Friday night (June 12, 2015): either allow the 11-run ninth inning haunt them, or arrive at the field refocused and ready to compete. The Bucks chose the latter, holding the Growlers to just four hits in a 7-0 shutout at Homer Stryker Field.

Carson McPherson (2-1) (Murray St. College) was brilliant as the Waterloo starter throughout six scoreless innings of ball. During a soggy night in Kalamazoo, McPherson put together a four-hit performance while also striking out eight and walking one in his second winning start of the year.

Waterloo’s offense broke the game open with a five-run eighth frame. Luke Stratman (Lamar CC) tallied his team-best third homerun of the season in the victory while teammate Zach McKinstry (Central Michigan) hit a single and moved his hitting streak to 11 consecutive games.

Pitching headlined the opening innings of the game as McPherson battled against right-hander Sean Isaac (Vangaurd) from Kalamazoo (5-13). The two gave both lineups headaches until they left following the sixth.

The Bucks (11-7) struck first on Stratman’s two-out solo homerun in the top of the third. The blast marked the third of the season for Stratman, and it gave Waterloo a 1-0 lead.

McPherson (2-1) took the win and exited after his sixth frame on the hill. The southpaw surrendered no runs, four hits, one base on balls and tallied eight punchouts en route to his second win.

Landon Busch (South Dakota St.) entered out of the bullpen to open the seventh and closed out the game to earn his first save of the year. In his fourth mound appearance on the season, Busch lasted three hitless innings where he walked one and struck out a pair.

Waterloo widened the one-run gap with five runs in the eighth on two hits, two walks and three hit batsmen to increase their lead, 6-0. Weston Hatten (Washington St.) plated Alex Boxwell (Minnsota) and Mikal Hill (Winston-Salem St.) for the frame’s first two runs on a single down the left field line.

Mark Hernandez (Long Island) and Matthew Stemper (Minnesota) both scored on wild pitches to backstop in the inning, and Hatten scored the eighth’s only other run after Taylor Boyd (St. Joseph’s) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Hill opened the ninth with a hit-by-pitch and scored the game’s final run on a Stemper RBI single to make it 7-0, Waterloo.

The Bucks will travel a short distance to face the Battle Creek Bombers Saturday to open a two-game series. First pitch on is set for 6:05 p.m. CT with Sunday’s start set for 5:05 p.m. CT.

Waterloo plays at home next on Monday, June 15, against the Mankato MoonDogs. Every Monday home game, regular hot dogs are just $1.50 and 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 or the Bucks Ticket Office at Riverfront Stadium or call 319-232-5633. Bucks games are broadcast live on waterloobucks.com.

Story By: Matt Gruemmer