After two games this season Brainerd and Waterloo have needed 10-inning games to decide the final score. On Monday the Thunder defeated the Bucks 2-1 in the extra frame. Tuesday Waterloo avenged the loss defeating Brainerd 7-3 with a four-run 10th despite a late inning comeback.
For seven innings the Blue Thunder looked as if they were headed for a loss without extra innings as Bucks starting pitcher Scott Shaw was nearly unhittable, baffling the Thunder hitters to the tune of 12 strikeouts, one infield hit, zero runs and zero runners past second base.
But due to the nearly frigid, misty conditions the game was played under and holding a 3-0 lead heading into the eighth Waterloo replaced Shaw with pitcher Chris Peck.
In one-third inning Peck was unable to find the strike zone, walking three Brainerd hitters. The Thunder also were aided by an error by Waterloo's second baseman. Between Peck's erratic control and the fielding mishap the Thunder were able to manufacture three runs on only one hit to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth.
With the bases loaded third baseman Jared McDonald walked to drive in the Thunder's first run of the inning and game, outfielder Troy Lundi drove in the second with a sacrifice fly to right field and first baseman Mike Gedman came up with the game-tying hit looping a ball between the shortstop and center fielder.
After a scoreless ninth Brainerd's comeback bid fell short in the 10th as relief pitcher Spencer Parish let in four earned runs in the inning to take the loss as the Thunder were unable to answer with any runs in the bottom of the inning, losing 7-3.
Parish had pitched 1-2/3 innings of scoreless relief before his control became an issue walking three consecutive Bucks with two outs in the top of the 10th followed by a hit batter to send across a run and break the tie game.
Control was a problem throughout the game for Brainerd's pitchers and ultimately served as the team's downfall as the Thunder combined to walk 16 batters, hit two others and deliver three wild pitches.
Waterloo first baseman Carter Sackett broke the game open with a two RBI single to give the Buck's their four-run lead.
The Blue Thunder did receive a strong start from Darryl Stringfield who wiggled out of two-bases-loaded jams early to keep Brainerd in the game despite Shaw's dominance. Stringfield went five innings with six strikeouts, six walks and only three hits while allowing one unearned run.
Waterloo 000 100 110 4 - 7 6 2
Brainerd 000 000 030 0 - 3 4 4
Waterloo: Scott Shaw, Chris Peck (8), Bob Lackovic, and Chance Harst.
Brainerd: Darryl Stringfield, Kori Jensen (6), Spencer Parish (9), John Prato Matthews (10), and Trey Lucas and Jared McDonald (8).
W: Lackovic (1-0). L: Parish (0-1).
SB: W-Bryan Resnick, Harst, Mike Rogers, Mike Giller 2; B-McDonald, Codi Harshman.
RBIs: W-Carter Sackett 2, Rogers; B-McDonald, Mike Gedman, Trey Lucas.
LOB: W-18; B-9.
Records: Waterloo 2-4; Brainerd 1-3. Next: Brainerd hosts Rochester 6:35 p.m. Wednesday.
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