A four-run seventh and Blake Wagenseller’s three-run bomb in the eighth salted the game away as the Waterloo Bucks defeated the Thunder Bay Border Cats 9-7 before a Canada Day crowd of 1,024.
Down 9-3 entering the ninth Bryce Jorgenson hit a one-out triple for Thunder Bay. Consecutive singles by Nate Soriano and Jacob Newton, an error and an RBI single by Ryne Edmondson netted three runs. Jake Engel’s fielder’s choice grounder and another error accounted for the fourth run of the inning.
With the tying run at the plate, Waterloo’s Dylan Phillips secured a groundout to garner the save. The Bucks shaved their winning number down to one in pursuit of the Great Plains East Northwoods League first-half title.
An Eau Claire loss Monday night or tonight against Mankato, or a Bucks win tonight against Thunder Bay will give Waterloo first place.
Thunder Bay fell to 14-20 in the first half. Waterloo climbed to 19-16.
Border Cats starter Austin Breazeale was named NWL’s pitcher-of-the-night for his 8-1 win over Waterloo on Sunday. Breazeale was perfect through six and one-third innings, throwing 79 strikes and 28 balls in his 107-pitch three-hitter.
The first half closes tonight with Waterloo and Thunder Bay squaring off at 7:05 at Port Arthur Stadium.
The Border Cats kick off the second half of the season by hosting the St. Cloud Rox on Wednesday and Thursday before travelling to La Crosse, Wis., on Friday to start a four-game road trip.