Willmar’s Win Streak Against Bucks Reaches 11 Games [Video]
One night after Willmar's walk-off win over the Waterloo Bucks, the Stingers stung the locals again with some late-game heroics on Friday (June 26, 2015).
Tied, 2-2, going into the final three frames, Willmar (19-11) scored one run each in the seven and eighth innings to beat the Bucks (17-15), 4-2, at Bill Taunton Stadium. Brian Pruett (Florida Gulf Coast) proved to be the Bucks' nemesis for the second night in a row, driving in two runs and hitting the go-ahead solo homerun for the Stingers to open the seventh inning.
Thursday night, Pruett's base hit over Waterloo's drawn-in infield produced Willmar's winning run in a 2-1 victory.
On Friday, Taylor Lane (Florida) was the bright spot in the Waterloo lineup after he tallied two RBI on two singles in the defeat.
Waterloo's pitching staff gave up only six hits on the night, but gave up eight free bases with six walks and two hit batsmen while the team’s offense was only able to collect four hits on the night. Sean Trimble (2-2) (Long Beach St.) took the loss on the mound after surrendering the inning-opening homerun to Pruett in the seventh.
Lane singled in Mikal Hill (Winston-Salem St.) to shallow left field to send the Bucks in the scoring column early in the opening inning. Hill somersaulted over the catcher to score on a bang-bang play at the plate to send Waterloo in front, 1-0.
Willmar took the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the fourth on one hit and an error. Ky Parrott (James Madison) scored the inning’s first run on a throwing error from Desguin to the first base bag on a Stinger sacrifice bunt. Then, Pruett lined a single to right field with two outs to score Tyler Leffler (Bradley) for the go-ahead run.
Jordan Desguin (Florida Gulf Coast) took an early leave for the Bucks after the two-run frame in the fourth. The Waterloo starter tossed four innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits alongside seven strikeouts and two walks in the no-decision start.
Trimble (2-2) opened the fifth out of the bullpen for the Bucks and finished his night following the one-run seventh. The reliever allowed one run on two hits over his three full innings while also striking out two and walking a single Stinger.
Zach Soria (Florida International) tied the game, 2-2, in the top of the sixth when he scored on Lane’s RBI-single to right field. Soria led off the frame with a double down the left field line, but Bucks squandered a chance after his game-tying score, stranding the bases loaded with nobody out in the frame.
Pruett quickly sent the Stingers back in front, 3-2, in the bottom of the seventh when he sent the 2-1 pitch over the left field wall for a solo homerun.
Ryan McCourt (Coffeyville CC) toed the bump in the bottom of the eighth and surrendered an insurance run to Willmar with a bases-loaded walk. McCourt allowed a hit, walked three and struck out one in his lone inning on the hill.
Willmar plated the game’s final run with the bases-loaded walk in the eighth to secure a 4-2 lead into the ninth. The Bucks failed to put together a rally, going hitless over four innings off of Brian Kehner (Presbyterian) out of the Stinger’s bullpen.
The victory extended the Stingers' win streak over Waterloo to 11-straight games, including seven-in-a-row at home. The Bucks' last victory over Willmar was a 4-3 decision at home on Aug. 10, 2013, their record-setting 51st victory that season.
The Bucks move on to Thunder Bay for a two-game series with the Border Cats, beginning Saturday at 5:05 p.m. Waterloo finishes in Ontario on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. before returning home for an off-day on June 29.
The Bucks finish the seven-game road trip with a journey to Rochester on Tuesday for the first-half of a road-home doubleheader with the Honkers. Following the 12:05 p.m. game at Mayo Field, the two teams will travel to Waterloo's Riverfront Stadium for the completion of the twinbill at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday.
The two games with Rochester mark the first two contests in the SCHEELS Highway 63 Cup series for 2015. They also end the first half of the Northwoods League season.
During the nightcap on June 30, the Bucks will have the Bill’s Pizza & Smokehouse Baseball Card Set Giveaway. The first 1,000 fans through the gate will receive a Bucks Baseball Team Card Set, presented by Bill’s Pizza & Smokehouse.
It will also be a Two For Tuesday promotion. Follow the Bucks on Facebook or their email newsletter for a buy one ticket get one FREE offer for Tuesday home games. One lucky fan will win a pair of Minnesota Twins tickets given away at every Tuesday home game.
Story By: Matt Gruemmer