Bucks Announce Opening Day Roster, Coaching Staff
Waterloo, Iowa - The Waterloo Bucks begin the 2020 Northwoods League season tonight in Mankato, Minn. against the Mankato MoonDogs at 6:35 p.m. Leading the charge for the Waterloo Bucks is a familiar name. Casey Harms is back at the helm for the Waterloo Bucks in his second season as the Field Manager. Last season, Harms led the Bucks to a Great Plains East First Half Championship and a berth in the playoffs. The Bucks finished last season at 34-35, which was good for third place overall in the division.
Harms has a trio of coaches working with him, including last season's Pitching Coach, Matt Perea. Two new coaches join the staff for 2020. Freddy Smith and Aidan Wirshing join the team from Cal State-Northridge and UC Santa Barbra, respectively.
The Waterloo Bucks 2020 Opening Day roster contains high-level talent from across the country. The Bucks pitching staff has five hurlers who either attend college in Iowa or are from the state. Duncan Davitt, current Iowa Hawkeye starter, highlights a staff with 14 Division I pitchers.
Behind the dish, the Bucks return Alonzo Rubalcaba from Santa Barbra City College. Rubalcaba, an All-Star in 2019, hit .263 in 55 games for Waterloo last season. A pair of catchers will work in tandem with him behind the dish as Jayden Kiernan and Johnny Tincher join for 2020.
The infield brings third-year Buck Patrick Ferguson and Iowa-grown talent Peyton Williams from Johnston, Iowa. Dalton Shuffield, Jalen Smith, and Daniel Irisarri look to man the middle infield in the Cedar Valley. At the corners, Charley Hesse intends to patrol the hot corner while Williams shares first base with 2019 All-Star Ferguson.
In the outfield, the Bucks bring Oraj Anu, Xane Washington, and Levi Usher. Anu has already been drafted twice in the MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox, once in 2017 and once in 2019. Levi Usher, a Fairfax, Iowa native, hit .411 for Louisville before the pandemic ended the college baseball season. He also stole 11 bags in 12 tries. Switch-hitting outfielder Xane Washington rounds out the Opening Day outfield for the Bucks. Washington started 18 games this season for Nicholls State hitting just over .290.
After the Opening Day trip to Mankato, the Waterloo Bucks will be in the Cedar Valley for a three-game homestand. The Willmar Stingers come to Cost Cutters Field at Riverfront Stadium tomorrow and square off with the Bucks on Thursday and Friday. First pitch for all games of the homestand is 6:35 pm with gates opening at 6:00 pm.
The Bucks, who will open their 26th season on July 1, play their home games at Cost Cutters Field at Riverfront Stadium which welcomed a new state of the art video board in 2016 thanks to a matching grant from the Black Hawk County Gaming Association. Team ownership has invested nearly $400,000 in stadium improvements since the end of the 2014 season including group outing areas, painted bleachers, public Wi-Fi, sound system, kids zone inflatables, wiffle ball field, and concessions equipment. Fans are encouraged to stay in touch with the Bucks by utilizing their website at www.waterloobucks.com or utilizing the Northwoods League Mobile App.
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