Bucks Playoff Hopes Dashed on Season’s Final Day
Making the 2014 Northwoods League playoffs wasn't meant to be for the Waterloo Bucks. Their quest for a second consecutive postseason appearance ended with a 5-1 loss at Willmar in the final game of the regular-season Sunday night (August 10).
The loss mathematically eliminated the Bucks from the playoffs. Earlier in the day, Eau Claire defeated Mankato, an outcome that opened the door for Waterloo to get in with a victory over Willmar.
The Stingers, however, limited the Bucks to one run on four hits. Twice, Waterloo failed to capitalize on golden opportunities. In the fourth and fifth innings, they loaded the bases with no outs, but each time failed score.
The loss put the Bucks a half-game behind tri-champions Willmar, Mankato, and Duluth in the second-half North Division standings. With a playoff berth already secured by first-half champion Willmar, Mankato earned the playoff spot by winning the head-to-head series against Duluth.
Waterloo ended the season 0-8 against Willmar and missed making the playoffs in each half-season by a half-game. Despite Sunday night's loss and missed post-season appearance, the Bucks finish the season with 45 victories and the third-best overall record in the Northwoods League. Over the course of two seasons, Waterloo won a league-best 96 games while making the playoffs in 2013 and playing meaningful games the entire season in 2014.
Earlier Sunday, the Northwoods League announced the 2014 Post-season All-Star team, a roster that includes three members of the Bucks. Adam Bray, Pat MacKenzie and Jon McAllister were honored by the league for their efforts this season.