Huskies’ Comeback Falls Short

           The Duluth Huskies (6-6) could not come back against the Willmar Stingers (7-5) tonight as they fell 4-3.  It was another night of defensive errors and a lack of timely offense that caused the Huskies to struggle.

            The Stingers were once again able to display a strong offense in the early part of the game, scoring a run in the first inning on one hit.  The inning started with two quick outs, but then a hit batter and a double sent the runners off.  An error by the left fielder on the double, caused the run to score.  Their offense would strike again in the top of the third scoring two runs on two hits and another error.  The Stingers’ ability to steal bases and their timely hitting to drive runners in was key in this match-up.  Their bats ceased to be effective until the seventh when they put their last run up, as the first three batters got on due to an error, a walk and a single.  They would all move up after a sacrifice fly was hit to center field. 

            The Huskies’ offense got going in the bottom of the first, as Sam Baier got on with a single, and was driven in by newcomer, Luke Roskam, who had his second double of the season.  A single, walk, and error contributed to the run scoring in the fourth inning.  The seventh would be the last inning in which the Huskies would cross the plate.  Kai Gomez drilled a ball down the left field line, and would take advantage of a left fielder’s error as he advanced to third base.  He would eventually score on an error by the catcher. 

            Ryan Cunningham (1-1) started on the mound for the Huskies tonight, battling through six innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on four hits, while walking three and striking out two.  He was relieved by Gonrowski (0-1), who threw one inning, striking out two, but giving up one run on one hit and a walk.  Other members of the bullpen that appeared in tonight’s game were Yancey and ODwyer, who both threw one inning, shutting out the Stingers.  On the offensive side, Kai Gomez had himself a solid night at the plate, going 2-for-3, scoring once and walking once. 

            Nick Lackney (0-0) threw for the Stingers tonight, going four innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits, while walking two, and striking out an impressive seven batters.  He was relieved by Portella (1-1) who threw two and two-thirds, giving up one run on one hit.  Kelly and Latorre also came in the game, holding the Huskies to zero runs on two hits apiece.  The batters that stuck out for the Stingers tonight were Rob Emery who went 2-for-4 with one RBI, and Caleb Ledbetter who went 1-for-2, scoring once and walking twice. 

            It is safe to say that the Huskies’ offense looked much more alive tonight, but their defensive blunders took a toll on the outcome of the game.  They finished the game with three runs on eleven hits, but committed four errors once again.  Hopefully the defense will improve as the Huskies play more games, because it will be nice to see them dominate on the field as their fans know they can.       

            Tomorrow the Huskies are at home playing Waterloo.  The game is scheduled to start at 3:05 p.m.  The doors open at 2:05 p.m.  It is also Bottle Opener Giveaway Day (while supplies last and must be 21 and older) so get here early enough to receive one and come out to cheer on your Huskies!