Duluth can’t quite complete 9th inning comeback
Duluth, Minn — The Duluth Huskies and the Bismarck Larks faced off Wednesday night in game two of the short two-game series. The Larks took game one last night when they shut out the Huskies 5-0. Tonight would be the last of Duluth’s short three-game home stint before the team heads back out on the road.
Bismarck continued to hit the ball well at the start of the game when the 1 and 2 hitters Zack Gregory and Wyatt Ulrich scored on a David Mendham single to make it 2-0 early on. Gregory and Ulrich both drew walks to start the inning.
But the Huskies came roaring back right away in the bottom of the 1st starting with an RBI double from Ramon Enriquez that scored James Free II who was the first Huskies baserunner of the game when he drew a walk. Free ended up walking twice in tonight’s game. Then Danny Zimmerman went to opposite field off the KIA billboard on a 2-run home run that put Duluth up 3-2. All three runs were scored with two outs.
Aaron Greenfield got his first hit of the evening in the 2nd inning when he hit a ground rule double to left center field and then came home on a Wade Meckler single to give the Huskies a 4-2 lead.
The Larks got back on the board in the top of the 3rd and regained the lead at 5-4. Wyatt Ulrich began the rally when he scored on an RBI single from Brian Leonhardt, followed by a Cole Taylor RBI single that scored David Mendham. Leonhardt then scored Bismarck’s 5th run when he came home on a Huskies’ error.
After the first three innings of the game, either Bismarck or Duluth scored a run. But the game suddenly turned into a pitcher’s duel as neither team scored a run for the next 4 straight innings. Keaton Carratini would come in to replace Jonathan Pierce and make his Huskies debut in the 6th inning. Pierce exited after giving up 5 runs on 4 hits and walked 7 while striking out 5 in 5 IP.
Dominic Arias exited the game after throwing 6 innings and allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits and struck out 5. Josh Gray appeared in relief for the Larks in the bottom of the 7th inning and allowed a Noah Marcelo single; the Huskies’ first hit since the 2nd inning. But a double play would end Duluth’s hopes for a tying run as the score remained 5-4 Larks.
Evan Yedinak would emerge from the Huskies’ bullpen in the 8th inning to replace Keaton Carratini who struck out 4 and allowed no runs or hits through 2 innings of work.
Bismarck would proceed to score their 6th run after Jacob Rogers found a space in the 5-6 hole to score Jack Chernow to stretch the Larks’ lead to 2. One more run was scored afterwards when Rogers scored on an Alex Peterson single to make the score 7-4.
Josh Gray was replaced by Bradley Collins in the bottom of the 8th. Gray allowed one hit and no runs in 1 IP. Ramon Enriquez and Danny Zimmerman proceeded to draw back to back one out walks which led to Christian Kirtley getting his first hit and RBI of the season that scored Enriquez which cut the Larks’ lead to two. Kirtley would steal second and Greenfield walked to load the bases for Noah Marcelo. But Collins would get Marcelo to pop out to the first baseman as the score remained 7-5 in favor of Bismarck.
Erik Kaiser would make his sixth appearance of the season and pitched a scoreless 9th frame to give the Huskies a chance to tie it up in the bottom of the 9th with the top of the order coming to bat. Evan Miller came in to try and get the save and the series win for the Larks. After Wade Meckler struck out looking to start, Nic Kent and James Free II hit back to back singles to put runners at first and third with Ramon Enriquez coming to the plate. He would hit a single to shallow center field to make it a one-run game. Miller would strike out Danny Zimmerman, giving the Huskies one more out. Carter Putz would pinch hit for Justin Moore but struck out to end the game.
The Larks won the game by a final score of 7-6 to sweep the series in two games.
The Huskies go on the road tomorrow night to face the La Crosse Loggers in a two-game series. First pitch is set for 6:35 pm with live game coverage on 92.1 The fan and twinportssportshub.com beginning at 6:25 pm.
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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 26th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 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 200 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.