(WAUSAU) - Mike Wisecarver threw eight innings of three-hit baseball while the Waterloo Bucks scored seven runs off an oft-struggling Wisconsin Woodchucks pitching staff, sweeping the ‘Chucks by way of a 7—3 victory Sunday afternoon.
Wisecarver dominated the ‘Chucks in his last Northwoods League game, facing only two batters over the minimum when removing a one-run seventh inning.
The Woodchucks, who went 0—5 in the homestand ended Sunday following the All-Star break, received only one quality start from their pitching staff, allowing 39 runs in total since ending a four-game win streak.
Waterloo now leads the season series against the Woodchucks 8—0, with the final two matchups set to take place at Riverfront Stadium later in the season.
The Bucks remain in first place in the Northwoods League South, while the Woodchucks fell to 7—9 and remained in the South's sixth spot.
Brock Heerdt, who made his first appearance as a Woodchuck Sunday, struggled early in his Northwoods League debut and relinquished an early lead to the first-place Bucks.
Allowing a leadoff single in the first inning, Heerdt hit Jeremy Lucas and allowed another single to load the bases, before Joel Hutter hit a sacrifice fly to score one run.
After working through the first, Heerdt allowed a leadoff homerun to Sean Borman – his second of the series – before allowing a single and issuing a walk. When Davis Hendrickson attempted to give himself up and move the runner up a bag, Heerdt fielded the bunt and threw the ball wide of first base, allowing one run to score, and extending the inning for Jeremy Lucas to hit another RBI single.
While the Woodchucks' offense laid dormant, Heerdt allowed two runners to reach in both the third and fourth frames, before Jeff Popick hit a two-out homerun in the fifth to give the Bucks a five-run advantage.
After five innings of work, Heerdt was removed in favor of Justin Burns, allowing four earned runs, seven hits and four walks, while striking out one.
Waterloo starter Mike Wisecarver was brilliant through six innings, facing only two batters over the minimum, before presumably securing the win in the seventh when Jeff Popick increased the Bucks' lead to seven, hitting a two-run homer off Burns – his second in as many at-bats.
The ‘Chucks finally got on the board in the seventh inning, as Carlos Escboar –who reached on a leadoff walk – advanced on a passed ball and a following single, before scoring on an Aaron Gates sacrifice fly.
In what was expected to be his last start as a Buck – reaching an innings cap set by his school, Nicholls State – Mike Wisecarver threw a sterling eight innings, dominating the ‘Chucks while allowing only three hits, two walks and one run, striking out seven.
Michael Boyle started the ninth for Waterloo, allowing three singles while hitting a batter, giving way quickly to Brett Andrzejewski. After allowing another run on a fielder's choice, Andrzejewski finished off the ‘Chucks in the ninth, securing Wisecarver's sixth win and his first save, while pounding the proverbial nail in the coffin on an 0—5 Woodchucks homestand, winning 7—3.
The ‘Chucks will travel to Eau Claire for one game with the starter to be announced Monday, before returning home Tuesday for game two with the Express, on Wausau Chamber Region Night.
Courtesy: Wisconsin Woodchucks