Duluth stays in first place despite heartbreaking loss.
Hayden Shenefield (Cal-State Northridge) took the mound for the Duluth Huskies and delivered a gem, striking out 11 in eight innings without allowing anyone to reach third base. Unfortunately for Shenefield and the Huskies, his teammates could not finish the deal, and the Huskies lost on a walk-off home run.
Shenefield delivered his best outing of the season, and the best start by any Huskies pitcher all summer. The righty had his fastball, changeup, and slider all working to perfection to fool Rochester Honkers batters. He allowed only a single in the first, third, and seventh innings. The only other baserunner against him was a hit by pitch as no Honkers walked the entire game. Shenefield left due to pitch count limitations after eight innings with a lead.
Offensively, however, the Huskies struggled early despite their recent hot stretch. Duluth drew four walks in the first four innings, but two double plays and a caught stealing ended all threats. Duluth hit into three double plays to stop rallies, which proved to be costly for the Huskies.
Duluth did not get their first hit of the ballgame until the sixth inning, when Antonio Monroy (Georgetown College) reached on an infield single. Monroy advanced on a wild pitch and scored the first run of the ballgame when Nick Sogard (Loyola Marymount) reached on an error.
The lone run was enough for the lead to last all the way until the bottom of the ninth, despite more missed opportunities on offense. However, the struggles proved costly at the end.
The Huskies bullpen was tasked with protecting a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth, but unfortunately couldn’t finish the game. After getting the first out, Rochester got a triple, and then a walk-off home run ended the game with a single swing.
Despite the loss, losses by Willmar and La Crosse keep Duluth in first place for both the overall and second half standings. With only five games left in the regular season, Duluth can guarantee a home playoff game by winning all five contests.
The Huskies are off tomorrow as six Huskies players join the best ballplayers from around the league for tomorrow’s Major League Dreams Showcase.
Next, the Huskies finish the series in Rochester on Wednesday as Jason Braziel (Friends University) takes the mound for the Huskies, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. from Mayo Field.
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