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Published On: June 20th, 2017

The Duluth Huskies (11-9) bounced back from a loss in Mankato on Monday, downing the Moondogs (9-10) by a score of 12-6.

Duluth has now won five of its last six games and sit two games above .500 for the first time since June 8th. Ryan Losman (1-1) pitched five solid innings of four-run ball and picked up the win, but the Huskies offense did the heavy lifting, tattooing Moondogs starter Ricky Digrugilliers (1-2) for 12 runs in five innings, including an eight-run second inning.

Coming into the game today, Mankato was, statistically speaking, the second-worst fielding team in the Northwoods League, with only Duluth worse than them. The Moondogs committed five errors Monday, meaning that of the 12 runs that Digrugilliers allowed, only two were considered earned runs. He also struck out seven Huskies through his 4.1 innings of work, and at one point had retired eight straight batters.
The Moondogs took an early 1-0 lead in the first when Toby Hanson drove in leadoff man Alvaro Rubalcaba with a double, but it was a short-lived one as the Huskies responded in ferocious fashion in the next frame.

Luke Roskam led things off with a rare opposite-field base hit, this one a double into the left-center gap. Matt Frazier reached on an error by Mankato first baseman Wells Davis to put runners at the corners for Dean Nevarez, who drove in Roskam with a single. Jake Smith, relegated to the seventh spot in the lineup, reached on Davis’s second error of the inning to allow Frazier to score. Gabe Knowles drove in Dean Nevarez with a single, and Augie Isaacson, the only Husky not to score in the second inning, grounded out to move Knowles to second and Smith to third. Isaac Collins joined the hit parade with a one-out single to bring in Smith, and Camryn Williams followed suit with a looper into right field to score Knowles. Sam Baier was the ninth Husky to bat in the inning, and with one out sent a three-run moonshot over the left field wall at Franklin Rogers Park to clear the bases and give the Huskies an 8-1 lead. Luke Roskam and Matt Frazier were retired to put an end to the barrage.

In the bottom of the third, Toby Hanson drove in second baseman Ethan Valdez to make it a six-run ballgame.

After sending 11 men to the plate in the second, the Huskies sent 10 to bat in the fifth, and the man who put an exclamation point on the second inning’s onslaught, led things off with a single that he stretched into a double on the Moondogs’ third error of the day, this one by left fielder Jake Shepski. Digrugilliers fanned Roskam before walking Matt Frazier to put runners at first and second. Dean Nevarez then hit a grounder to third baseman Jake Ortega, who, with an opportunity to start a 5-4-3 double play instead bobbled the ball for the fourth Mankato error of the day, allowing Baier to score. Jake Smith doubled a run in, followed by Ortega’s second error of the inning off the bat of Gabe Knowles to allow Nevarez to score. Digrugilliers walked Augie Isaacson to load the bases and end his day. Caleb Fernolz came on in relief and started the process of silencing the Husky bats, but not before Isaac Collins brought home the twelfth and final run of the day for Duluth via a sacrifice fly to score Smith.

Wells Davis hit a two-run homer off the scoreboard in right in the fifth, Ethan Valdez doubled home a run off the wall in dead center in the seventh, and Alvaro Rubalcaba added a no-doubter of a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth to cap off four unanswered Moondog runs, but when Victor Santana finally shut things down for the Huskies, his team were still winners by a six-run margin.

The two teams face off again on Tuesday as the Huskies wrap up their second road trip of the season. Henry DeCaster (0-1) of Duluth is slated to go against Tyler Lesley (2-0) and Mankato. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.