The Duluth Huskies (10-9) lost on the road in walk-off fashion in the ninth inning to the Bismarck Larks (10-10) by a score of 4-3 on a walk-off single by Cooper Coldiron off Stephen Yancey to score David Salgueiro on Sunday.
The Larks salvaged a series split and halted the Huskies’ four-game winning streak with timely hitting and a solid outing by starter Alex Ross (0-0) as he out-dueled Gaylon Viney (1-1) for Duluth.
Coldiron was the hero Sunday as the Larks picked up the franchise’s 10th win off his bat, but his first RBI was what got the scoring started in a see-saw affair at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark. He sent a fly ball into the glove of Huskies right fielder Jake Smith to score Mitch Gallagher in the first inning and give his team an early lead.
Isaac Collins answered right back for the Huskies and knotted the game at one with a groundout to third baseman Mason Pierzchalski that scored Dean Nevarez in the top of the second. Two innings later Scooter Bynum put his team ahead by one in the fourth with a sacrifice fly of his own to put his team-leading RBI total at 11.
The sixth inning was the second-most exciting inning of Sunday’s ballgame, started by Matt Frazier continuing his hot hitting with a single to left that scored Sam Baier to tie the game 2-2. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Jamie Kaye, who came on in relief of Viney in the fifth, surrendered an unearned run with Mason Pierzchalski at third, the Larks’ leading base-stealer David Salguiero at first, and two outs. Both runners were off on contact when Mitch Gallagher sent a blooper into shallow left, and as it started to come down in between shortstop Camryn Williams and left fielder Sam Baier, Williams tried to make a basket catch over his head, but it popped out of his glove and onto the outfield grass. Pierzchalski was already in to score, but Salguiero tried to score all the way from first. He was gunned down by Williams, who recovered and fired a strike to Nick Emanuel at the plate to prevent Bismarck from taking a 4-2 lead.
With a one-run deficit, the game found itself in the ninth, and with two outs and the bases empty, Luke Roskam was called to pinch-hit for Nick Emanuel. The Huskies’ last chance delivered. Roskam sent a 2-1 pitch from Larks reliever Nick Boyles over the right field wall to tie the game at 3-3.
Joe Gonrowski was then called on to shut down the Larks in the ninth send it to extras. He hit David Salguiero to lead off the inning, and he took second on a Mitch Gallagher sacrifice bunt. Austin Paschke then lined a single into right field, but Salguiero was unable to score as Jake Smith was playing shallow enough to make a hard throw home to leave runners at the corners. Duluth called to the bullpen once again and sent Stephen Yancey to finish the job. Cooper Coldiron stepped up to the plate and took the eighth pitch of the at-bat into left to score Salguiero and seal the walk-off win for Bismarck.
Gonrowski took the loss and Nick Boyles was credited with the win despite giving up the game-tying home run to Roskam.
The Huskies wrap up their road trip with two games against the Mankato Moondogs Monday and Tuesday before returning to Duluth for another homestand.