For five innings not much happened at Port Arthur Stadium.
Waterloo scored one, five and two runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth, and Thunder Bay replied with four in the eighth, ultimately losing to the Bucks 8-4 before 1,205 fans at Port Arthur Stadium.
Scheduled Cats starter DJ DePiero was shifted to today to give Cats starter Joe Moran a tune-up before the Showcase Game in Madison, Wis., next week.
Thunder Bay’s Karsten Vasquez was hit in the head by a pitch in the eighth inning, prompting an extended post-game conversation between the coaches of Waterloo and Thunder Bay.
“We had an issue earlier in the season at their (park) where that kind of all stemmed,” said Cats’ manager Eric Vasquez, Karsten’s father.
Back in Waterloo earlier in the year the benches cleared and Karsten was vocal. The umpires shooed the Cats bench back into the dugout after the game to keep the teams separated.
Moran — the Cats’ lone all-star last month — was perfect, tossing three innings while striking out five. Brendan Cindric walked seven in three innings of relief but allowed just a hit and allowed a lone tally in the sixth on a wild pitch.
Cooper Lamke entered the game as a designated hitter and pitched in the seventh inning. Normally an infielder for Thunder Bay (21-41), Lamke soldiered on the mound but didn’t record an out, allowing five runs on a pair of hits and four walks.
Morgan Hostetler homered just over the glove of right fielder Anthony Galati to open the bat-around seventh inning for Waterloo. Two walks, an RBI single by Patrick Ferguson, and another two walks left the bases loaded with none out. Triston Lundgren allowed a sac fly and an RBI single to Alonzo Rubalcaba to flesh out the inning.
The Bucks tacked on two in the eighth to open up an 8-0 lead.
Luke Mattson and Brett Lockwood shut out the Cats for seven innings. Bucks reliever Tyson Coleman didn’t fare as well.
Ryne Edmondson cracked a three-run double to key a four-run uprising as the Cats batted around in their half of the eighth. Position player Nate Soriano pitched a scoreless ninth for Thunder Bay.
“About a month ago we had that scuffle,” said Edmondson, who leads the Cats with 34 RBIs. “In terms of whether it’s intentional or not I can tell you we always back up our guys. That little exchange at the end, if it’s necessary to back up our guys, then that’s what it takes.”
Edmondson commented on his double.
“Coming up at that time, obviously we’re down 8-1. My main goal there was to do something,” he said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be a hit or anything. I’m in the heart of the line-up. That’s my job.”
Thunder Bay allowed 13 walks and seven hits in a losing cause. Cindric took the ‘L’ for Thunder Bay.
Mattson garnered the win for Waterloo. Jimmy Smiley dispatched Thunder Bay 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.
The Border Cats host the Duluth Huskies this evening and again on Sunday afternoon at the stadium to wrap up the four-game homestand.
Thunder Bay’s final home games of the season will be Aug. 10-11.