Huskies lose in walk-off fashion for third straight game
For the third time in as many games, the Huskies lost in walk-off fashion as a costly error allowed Luke Bowerbank (Rutgers) to score from first base, giving the Waterloo Bucks the victory.
Duluth (45-24, 21-12) never trailed throughout the contest until the final play, as Waterloo (19-50, 9-25) the team that holds the Northwoods League’s worst record, stole away what would have been a crucial victory from the Huskies.
Duluth took an early lead in the first inning, as Sean Watkins (Cal State Los Angeles) scored on an error. The Huskies doubled the lead in the second inning on an RBI groundout by Julian Escobedo (San Diego State) that scored Christian Jones (Washington).
In the bottom half of the inning, Waterloo tied the game thanks to a pair of Huskies errors and an RBI single by Dawnoven Smith (North Carolina A&T).
The game wasn’t tied for long as Duluth reclaimed the lead in the third inning on an RBI sacrifice fly by Nick Sogard (Loyola Marymount) that allowed Augie Isaacson (Friends University) to score, making it 3-2.
On the mound, the Huskies looked to right-hander Hunter Bigge (Harvard), who got his tenth start on the mound this season. He tossed four and two-thirds, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five.
The Huskies extended their lead against the Bucks bullpen in the sixth on an RBI sacrifice fly by Escobedo that brought in John Lagattuta (Cal) to score.
Duluth carried that lead to the seventh, when Waterloo cut the deficit in half, scoring their third run on an error that scored Parker Murdie (Jackson College).
In the eighth, Kieran Shaw (Harvard) entered on the mound looking for a six out save. He immediately ran into trouble as the Bucks loaded the bases with nobody out. They scored one run on an RBI sacrifice fly by Dawnoven Smith, but couldn’t get any more as the game went to the ninth inning tied 4-4.
In the final inning, Waterloo threatened again as they put runners at the corners with nobody out. Following a crucial base-running mistake by the Bucks that resulted in a double play, Shaw struck out the final batter to send the game to extra innings.
After the Huskies were retired in order in the top half of the frame, the Bucks put their leadoff main on base in the bottom half. Moments later, Dawnoven Smith singled into right field but the ball went past the right fielder, allowing Luke Bowerbank (Rutgers) to score from first base, winning the game for Waterloo in walk-off fashion.
The loss drops the Huskies out of first place in the overall standings and puts them into fourth place in the North Division with three games to play, one and a half games behind the Willmar Stingers.
Duluth is back tomorrow to take on Waterloo once again with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. You can listen to live coverage of the contest on 92.1 The Fan in Duluth or online on the Duluth Huskies website.
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