The Duluth Huskies (10-8) won their fourth straight game and first of the road trip, escaping a furious late rally by the Bismarck Larks (9-10), by a score of 6-5 on Saturday.
Piero Amador (2-1) had an immaculate outing for Duluth, pitching 6.2 innings while only allowing one run on five hits. The junior also struck out two en route to his second win of the year. It was a pitcher’s duel until the seventh inning, after Larks starter Ryan Byrd (1-2) was pulled. He went six strong innings, scattering seven hits, two of which turned into runs, and struck out six Huskies en route to incurring the loss on the day.
It was Duluth that struck first with Augie Isaacson scoring on a Sam Baier sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the third. Bismarck answered back with a double off the bat of Austin Paschke to score Ryan Anderson in the fourth and knot the game at one apiece.
The Huskies added five unanswered runs over three innings, starting with Matt Frazier scoring on a Ryan Byrd wild pitch in the sixth. This was followed by another sacrifice fly, this time by Matt Fraizer to score newcomer Camryn Williams in the seventh. Williams would finish 4-for-5 on the day with a run scored. Sam Baier scored an unearned run against Larks reliever Parker Harm thanks to an error by shortstop Cooper Coldiron to make it 4-1 in the seventh.
The eighth inning saw Gabe Knowles score on yet another sacrifice fly, with Jake Smith getting the RBI this time around. Sam Baier then drove in Augie Isaacson’s second run of the day to give the Huskies their largest lead of the day. In the middle of the eighth, they led 6-1.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Huskies bullpen nearly collapsed. After Joe Gonrowski relieved Piero Amador and got the last out of the seventh inning, Tre Brown started the eighth. He relinquished four runs on two walks and one hit, and Andrew O’Dwyer also surrendered two baserunners. An error by Luke Roskam at third base allowed the first run to come across, and a wild pitch scored Cooper Coldiron to make it 6-3. Still with no outs, Scooter Bynum laced a single into center field that scored Noah Sadler and Ryan Anderson to bring the Larks within one. Both runs were charged to Brown.
Kevin Folman replaced O’Dwyer with Bynum on first and Paschke on second and no outs recorded. Folman immediately walked Mason Pierzchalski to load the bases and put the go-ahead run at second. He then dialed it in to fan nine-hole hitter Quinn Irey swinging, leadoff man Wyatt Ulrich looking, and Mitch Gallagher swinging in his second at-bat of the inning to strike out the side and leave the bases loaded, the Larks stunned and the Huskies lead safe at one.
From then, it was smooth sailing as Folman retired the side in the ninth with little trouble, recording a walk and a strikeout in the inning.
The two teams square off tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. as the Huskies try to push their win streak to five and sweep the Larks. Duluth will send Gaylon Viney (1-1) to the hill.