The boys of summer are back.

The Waterloo Bucks opened their 25th anniversary season of Northwoods League baseball with a victory at home Tuesday night. They beat the La Crosse Loggers 7-3 at Riverfront Stadium, after rallying from an early 3-0 deficit.

Relief pitchers Austin VanDeWiele and Zach Jones shut down La Crosse (0-1) on opening night, allowing the Bucks bats to come alive and give first-year field manager Casey Harms a win on his 30th birthday.

With the Bucks (1-0) trailing 3-1 following a 30-minute lightning delay heading into the third inning, VanDeWiele came on in relief of starter Jack Corkery and tossed three scoreless innings to record the win. VanDeWiele (1-0) leaned on his fastball to navigate in and out of some high-leverage jams.

Waterloo took control of the game with a three-run third inning. Jake Gitter drew a lead-off walk and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Sam Olson's two-out, two-run double to right-center field after a pair of walks, put the Bucks in front to stay.

Olson had big night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a walk and 2 RBI in his Waterloo debut.

The Bucks added a tally in the fifth, then scored twice in the eighth inning on back-to-back errors by La Crosse.

Jones (1) earned the save for Waterloo. He recorded eight strikeouts and scattered just three hits in four innings of work.

The Bucks and Loggers wrap up their season-opening, home-and-home series in La Crosse on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled at 6:35 PM at Copeland Park.

Contributing Author: Thomas Breach - Waterloo Bucks

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