Huskies Get 2nd Straight Shut Out Against Willmar
First back to back shut out wins for Duluth since 2009
Duluth, Minn — The Huskies snagged a victory on Wednesday night when they took game one by a score of 1-0 against the Willmar Stingers to start the 2nd half of the season. Ricky Reynoso and Tim Holdgrafer both pitched great, keeping the Stingers off balance with a steady mix of fastballs and off-speed pitches. Dane Morrow took the mound for Duluth in his 7th start and faced Trevor Divinski of Willmar.
The Huskies’ top of the order got off to a quick start with back to back to back singles from Wade Meckler, Nic Kent, and Max Guzman to start the bottom of the 1st inning to load the bases for Alex Tappen. He would ground into a double play, but Meckler would be able to cross home to grab an early one-run lead.
Duluth kept up the pressure in the bottom half of the 2nd starting with a Tyler Lozano single. He would go from 1st to 3rd in one play when he stole 2nd and advanced to 3rd on a throwing error by Stingers’ Catcher Chris Stanke. Later in the inning, Xavier Bussey would bring home Lozano when he beat out a throw for an RBI infield single. Stanke would make another throwing error when Bussey stole 2nd and advanced to 3rd all in one play. After a Matt Hogan walk to put runners on the corners, Wade Meckler doubled into the left-center gap to bring home Bussey and put Hogan on 3rd base. The Huskies’ final run of the inning would come on a Nic Kent sac fly into deep right-center field to score Hogan, extending Duluth’s lead to 4-0.
After James Gamble grounded out to begin the 3rd inning, the Stingers would get their next 3 batters on base consecutively to load the bases with one out. But Morrow would get two big strikeouts on Brandon Bohning and Chris Stanke to strand all three baserunners to retain the 4-0 lead.
The Stingers would get a leadoff hitter on base for the first time in the top of the 6th with a Chris Stanke double off the wall in right field, giving Willmar another chance to bring in their first run. Andrew Lucas grounded out which allowed Stanke to advance to 3rd, and Noah Haupt popped out to 3rd base for the 2nd out. Morrow was able to get out of the inning without allowing a run when the final out came on a flyout to Matt Hogan in center field.
Xavier Bussey followed suit and led off the bottom half with a double of his own for his 2nd hit of the game, and would get to 3rd when he tagged up on a Matt Hogan flyout to the warning track in center field. Trevor Divinski would then exit the ballgame and be relieved by Joel Cheatwood. Divinski allowed 4 runs (2 earned) on 8 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4. Nic Kent came to the plate and brought home Bussey with his 2nd sac fly of the afternoon to give Duluth a 5-0 lead as the game went into the final 3 frames.
After surrendering a one-out walk and single in the top of the 7th, Marcus Pointer would bring in Erik Kaiser from the pen to relieve Dane Morrow. Morrow gave up no runs on 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 over 6.1 IP. Kaiser would induce a fly out and a strikeout to strand both runners.
Justin Moore would get the Huskies back on the board with a two-out RBI single that scored Alex Tappen from 2nd base, stretching the lead to 6. It wouldn’t end there though as Xavier Bussey got his 3rd hit and 2nd double of the ballgame to score Moore. Duluth would enter the 8th inning with a 7-0 lead.
Neither team would score again as Jack Corbell would close it down in the top of the 9th inning in his Duluth Huskies debut. The Huskies are now 2-0 in the 2nd half of the season and shut out Willmar in both games. The last time Duluth got back to back shut out wins was 2009.
Huskies Starting Pitcher Dane Morrow had his 3rd start in which he allowed no runs in this afternoon’s contest. He has been one of Duluth’s more consistent arms as he consistently pounds the zone and doesn’t give up many free bases. “If we just command the zone, we know that these guys with wood bats aren’t going to hit balls as far as we might think they will.” Morrow also prides himself on aiming to not allow any walks when he pitches, saying that in “every game there should be no walks. Walking guys is just you not doing your job, and throwing strikes is our job.”
The Huskies start a three-game series against Eau Claire tomorrow night at Wade Stadium. 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. All Duluth Huskies and Northwoods League games are live streamed online at portal.stretchlive.com/nwl to watch.
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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.