Poor Defense Haunts Huskies
Fresh off a sweep against Mankato, Duluth continued their final home-stand of the year against the Eau Claire Express. A back-and-forth affair throughout went the way of the Express as they held off a furious Husky rally to win 10-9.
Scoring occurred early and often when Duluth scored in the first inning as Augie Isaacson (Friends University), lead off the game with a triple. He scored one batter later as Nick Sogard (Loyola-Marymount) brought him home on an RBI single to put Duluth on top 1-0.
Huskies didn’t have the lead for long as Eau Claire answered with three in the top half of the second against Duluth starter Andrew Stout (Liberty) to take a 3-1 advantage.
Duluth’s offense picked up Stout in the bottom of the second when Antonio Monroy (Georgetown College) singled in Michael McCann (Texas) and General McArthur (Missouri Baptist) to tie the game at three.
Eau Claire retook the lead in the top of the fifth but Duluth answered back when Michael McCann hit a hard-single back up the middle that got by the center fielder Noah Sifrit (Oklahoma State), and would allow McCann to come all the way around the bases for an inside-the-park homerun to even the game at four.
The Huskies would run into tough times after that as they compiled 8 errors in the game with a majority of them coming in the sixth and eighth inning and that allowed the Express to take their largest lead of the game at 10-4.
However, Duluth refused to quit after that as they began a furious rally in the eighth inning off Eau Claire relief pitcher Justin Slaton (New Mexico). Sean Watkins (Cal-State Los Angeles) drew a bases loaded walk followed by a pinch hit, two-run single by Chris Gilbody (Georgetown College) to cut the deficit in half at 10-7.
In the ninth inning, Nick Sogard singled in Julian Escobedo (San Diego State) to make it a 10-8 game. Sean Watkins was the next batter and he brought in Augie Isaacson to make it a one-run game. But that is as close as they’d get as Hunter Bigge (Harvard) grounded out to end the game with the tying run at third.
It was a hard-fought battle, but the Huskies fell just short 10-9 and will finish up their series with Eau Claire on Sunday at 3:05 at Wade Stadium. It will be the final home game of the regular season and the game can be heard on 92.1 THE FAN in Duluth.
The Duluth Huskies are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in 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.