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Huskies Heartbroken Again by Honkers

Duluth loses in walk-off fashion

 

On Monday night, the Huskies carried a 1-0 lead into the ninth inning before Rochester hit a two-run homerun to walk it off, ending the game in dramatic fashion.

Two nights later, it happened again. A two-run homerun off the bat of Matt Hardy (UC Riverside) clinched a 7-5 victory for the Honkers (33-35, 16-16) over Duluth (45-23, 21-11).

The Huskies opened up the scoring in the third thanks to creative base running that allowed Christian Jones (Washington) to come in to score.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Honkers took the lead on a two-run homerun by Nate Webb (UC Riverside).

In the fourth, Rochester extended their lead on a two-run homerun by Michael Michalak (Illinois) to make it 4-1.

In the seventh, Alex McGarry (Oregon State) launched a solo homerun to increase the Honkers lead once again.

On the mound, the Huskies looked to Jason Braziel (Friends University) to get his third start of the season. He retired the first eight men he faced before running into trouble in the third and was out of the contest by the start of the sixth inning.

To begin the frame, Huskies pitching coach Marcus Pointer looked to reliever Tim Holdgrafer (Cal Poly Pomona) to stop the bleeding. Holdgrafer surrendered the solo homerun by McGarry, but was able to keep the Honkers at bay for the majority of his outing.

In the eighth, Duluth trailed by four runs and were able to load the bases with one out. Unfortunately, the offense was only able to manufacture one run on an RBI single by Antonio Monroy (Georgetown College).

In the ninth, the Huskies got some immediate life as Sean Watkins (Cal State Los Angeles) led off the inning with a solo homerun to make it 5-3.

Later in the inning, Duluth had a runner at first and two outs with Julian Escobedo (San Diego State) at the plate. After falling behind in the count, and being down to his last strike, Escobedo launched a two-run homerun over the right field wall to tie the game at 5-5.

The thrilling inning gave the Huskies hope heading to the bottom half of the inning, but that was quickly wiped out as Matt Hardy launched his ninth homerun of the year to send the Rochester crowd home happy as the Honkers walked it off for the second time in as many games, winning it 7-5 over Duluth.

The loss knocks Duluth out of first place with just four games to play in the regular season. The Huskies are tied for second with Mankato, a half-game behind the Willmar Stingers.

Duluth is back in action tomorrow as they travel further south to Waterloo, Iowa to take on the Waterloo Bucks with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. As always, you can listen to all of the action live on 92.1 The Fan in Duluth or online through the Duluth Huskies website.

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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