Huskies Win a Barn Burner Against Willmar
Duluth takes game two 6-5 in extra innings.
Duluth, Minn — The Duluth Huskies salvaged a split in the second of a two-game series at Bill Taunton Stadium against the Willmar Stingers as they won 6-5 in 10 innings. The Huskies were led by a stupendous pitching performance by lefty Jared Milch and Matt Hogan’s defensive prowess in Centerfield.
A first pitch one out single from Nic Kent lead off the Huskies’ half of the first inning. The reigning ACC Player of the Year stole second for his 21st stolen base of the season before being stranded at second.
Willmar responded with two baserunners reaching before stranding those same two at first and third. Runners did not reach scoring position until a successive two-out single and walk from Tyler Lozano and Nic Kent respectively gave the Huskies an opportunity in the top of the third before an Alex Tappen flyout to the right fielder Noah Haupt.
Collin Hopkins lead off the Duluth fifth with a single and eventually moved over to second on a groundout from Lance Ford. Hopkins and Tyler Lozano, who singled with one out, were eventually stranded to end the Husky half of the fifth.
Jared Milch had a no-hitter working into the bottom of the fifth inning before Willmar’s Tyler Bosetti drove a 1-0 fastball down the left-field line for a leadoff double. He advanced to third on a groundout by Noah Haupt before he and Catcher Kevin Saenz were stranded at the corners on a flyout to Matt Hogan in Centerfield by Daniel Walsh ended the first Willmar threat.
A one-out double by Justin King in the bottom of the sixth gave the Stingers a runner in scoring position before being driven in for the first run of the ballgame on a Brandon Bohning single. Bohning made his way to third before being stranded there as Milch ended the Stinger sixth by striking out Bosetti.
Willmar’s Zigan left the ballgame after six innings, giving up zero runs and recording two strikeouts. Milch exited the game having thrown six innings with six strikeouts and two walks, surrendering just one run in his second appearance in a Duluth Huskies’ uniform.
Pitcher Jack Corbell loaded the bases with Stingers in the eighth all via the walk, he then walked in a run on a 3-2 fastball that just missed to Justin King with two outs in the inning to make it a 2-0 Willmar lead.
Tyler Lozano lead off the Duluth eighth by getting hit by a fastball, before eventually being driven in by an Alex Tappen groundout following a Nic Kent double cut the two-run deficit in half. Kent was eventually stranded at third as Willmar’s Aldo Fernandez shut down the Huskies’ rally.
Matt Hogan started the offense in the Huskies’ ninth with a full-count walk, before being driven around to third on a single from Collin Hopkins. A successful suicide squeeze by Lance Ford tied the ballgame at two as Hogan came around to score before Fernandez closed out the Duluth ninth having only given up one run.
Pitcher Dan Hansen sent the game to extra innings as he sent the Stingers down in order in the bottom of the ninth inning to close out his second inning of work.
A pinch-running Justin Moore gave the Huskies the lead after Fernandez issued a bases-loaded walk to Max Guzman. Alex Tappen gave Duluth a 4-2 lead following Matt Hogan being hit by a Fernandez fastball with the bases loaded. Another bases-loaded walk drove in Guzman, before another followed to Ford driving in Danny Zimmerman, giving the Huskies a 6-2 lead heading into the latter half of the tenth inning.
Hansen gave up three runs in the Stinger half of the tenth before a Branden Boissiere single drove in the third Willmar run before Hogan threw out Kevin Saenz at the plate to end the ballgame. The Stingers fall to 4-4 on the second half following tonight’s contest.
The Huskies face the Border Cats tomorrow night in the first of a two-game set. First pitch is set for 7:05 pm with live game coverage on 92.1 The Fan and twinportssportshub.com beginning at 6:55 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.