WATERLOO — After dropping the first two games of a four-game home series with the Eau Claire Express, the Waterloo Bucks got one back Saturday in a battle of two of the first-half contenders in the Northwoods League Great Plains East Division.
Behind a three-run Blake Berry home run as part of a five-run fourth inning, the Bucks (14-13) scored a 8-5 victory over the Express which sets up Waterloo with a chance to take the division lead against Eau Claire (14-13)with 2:05 p.m. first-pitch today at Riverfront Stadium in the series finale.
La Crosse lingers one-game behind the Express and Bucks as the first half of the NWL season hits its home stretch.
Additionally Saturday, Patrick Ferguson drove in two runs, while Berry, Bennett Hostetler and Tony Jenkins all scored twice. Jenkins was the only Bucks player to have multiple hits as he was 2-for-3. Waterloo drew 11 walks in the game.
On the hill. Brett Lockwood and Jimmy Smiley threw 4 2/3 innings of shutout baseball to lock down the victory. Lockwood got the win, while Smiley earned his second save.
Waterloo trailed 3-1 when it erupted for the five-run inning. The Express pulled to within one in the fifth with two runs, but the Bucks tacked on insurance runs in the sixth and seventh.
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Patrick Ferguson delivered a two-out double to center to score Hostetler in the sixth, while Jenkins scored on an error in the seventh after his one-out single.
Waterloo 8, Eau Claire 5
Eau Claire 110 120 000 — 5 9 1
Waterloo 001 501 10x — 8 8 2
A. Baker, T. Ewald (4), D. Villalobos (4), N. Denoyer (7) and V. Martinez. J. Beyer, B. Lockwood (5), J. Smiley (8) and A. Rubalcaba. WP — Lockwood. LP — Ewald. Save — Smiley. 2B — EC: Bottcher, Sikes, Lake. Wat: Ferguson. HR — Wat: Berry.