Duluth scores three in the ninth to remain in first place
Following a 5-2 win on Saturday night, the Duluth Huskies took the field once again to battle with the Mankato Moondogs in the third to last game in the first half. The Huskies (24-10) trailed late but rallied in the final inning to stun Mankato (21-13) for a 3-2 win.
The game flew through the opening innings as both teams were held to one hit each through the first five innings of play.
On the mound, Moondogs manager Ryan Kragh looked to right-hander Jarod Wright (Southern Mississippi). The Mankato starter was phenomenal as he threw six and two-thirds innings, allowing zero runs on two hits while striking out seven and walking four.
On the other side, Duluth had right-hander Andrew Stout (Liberty) on the mound for his sixth start of the season. Stout was equal to the task of Wright as he tossed eight innings on the bump, surrendering two runs on six hits while striking out ten opposing hitters and earning the win in the contest.
The two Mankato runs came across in the sixth inning thanks to four consecutive base hits by the Moondogs offense. An RBI triple by Jake Shepski (Xavier) broke the 0-0 deadlock followed by an RBI single by CJ Huntley (Indiana State) moments later to give Mankato a 2-0 lead.
The Huskies had their opportunities throughout the contest as they stranded the bases loaded in the third inning and had two on base in the sixth and seventh but could not get any runs across.
Eventually, the game reached the final inning with the Huskies still trailing 2-0. A loss meant Duluth would drop out of first place in the North Division with only two games to play. Luckily, it wouldn’t come to that, as the Huskies scored three in the ninth with their backs against the walls to take the lead and the win against Mankato.
The inning got started with back-to-back singles by Trevin Esquerra (Loyola Marymount) and Christian Jones (Washington) to get things started. Three batters later, with the bases loaded, Nick Sogard (Loyola Marymount) drove in two runs to score to tie the game at 2-2.
Moments later, Justin Mitchell (Oklahoma) reached base on an error by the Mankato shortstop to plate another Duluth run to give them the lead, 3-2. The frame came to a close as the Huskies stranded two base-runners, but not before they grabbed the necessary runs to take the lead.
In the ninth, Stout was replaced by relief pitcher Kieran Shaw (Harvard) to try and slam the door on the Moondogs.
After allowing a leadoff walk, he struck out two and forced a groundout to end the game and give the Huskies a huge comeback win over Mankato.
The win means that Duluth remains in first place over the Bismarck Larks with a one game lead with two games to play. Bismarck holds the tiebreaker over the Huskies. Duluth heads home for their final two first half games as they host the Rochester Honkers for the first time this summer.
First pitch on Monday, July 2, between the Huskies and the Honkers is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. As always, you can listen to live coverage of the contest on 92.1 The Fan in and around Duluth.
The Duluth Huskies are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.duluthhuskies.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Huskies as your favorite team