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Duluth Huskies Weekly Recap: Week 7

Huskies go 3-4 in week 7

Ryne Ryskoski

Duluth, Minn – The Huskies currently stand with a 5-4 record in the 2nd half and sit in 3rd place in the Great Plains East division two games out of 1st place. The team put on an impressive display of offense over the last week as they averaged just under 6 runs per game to go along with a couple of impressive pitching performances from Ricky Reynoso and Cole Milam.

Last Friday night on July 5th the Huskies fell short to the Eau Claire Express 10-7 in what was a very odd contest. The Express were leading the game 6-0 through 6.5 innings of play while the Huskies had multiple errors and just one hit from Xavier Bussey at that point. But in the bottom of the 7th, a flurry of singles, wild pitches, walks, passed balls, and a balk allowed Duluth to put up 7 in the inning to tie up the game. After neither team scored in the 8th inning, Eau Claire managed to put up 3 runs in the 9th to ultimately win the game. What made the night so odd was the fact that the Huskies totaled just 4 hits to the Express’ 16 and committed 5 errors, yet the game was tied in the late innings. Bussey had a solid night at the plate as he had two of the four Huskies hits to lead the team and an RBI.

Duluth faced the Express in the 2nd of a four-game series the next day. The game was competitive and close with a score being 3-1 at the end of the 6th inning before the Express found some rhythm at the plate and rattled off 7 runs in the 7th and 8th inning to take a 9-1 lead. Nick Alvarado, Eau Claire’s Starting Pitcher went 6 complete innings and held the Huskies to just one run on 5 hits and struck out 7. Duluth did total 8 hits in the loss which usually is enough to put up a good number of runs, but the problem was that hits were scattered across the 9 innings so there ultimately weren’t many opportunities for men to get in scoring position and do damage. Eau Claire eventually took the game by a final of 9-1.

On Sunday, July 7th the 3rd game against the Express took place. Unlike the last two games, Duluth took immediate control of the game on offense and didn’t allow Eau Claire to mount a comeback. The Huskies put a run in the 1st inning, another couple in the 3rd, and 3 more by the end of the 6th inning to hold a 6-0 lead. Cole Milam pitched 6 brilliant shutout innings as Express hitters struggled to figure out his fastball and off-speed pitches. Eau Claire did score a couple runs in their half of the 7th but nothing after that as Jack Corbell and Evan Yedinak pitched scoreless 8th and 9th innings to win the game by a score of 6-2. The middle of the order for Duluth starred as the 3, 4, and 5 hitters all logged a hit and combined for 3 RBI’s.

The next day the Huskies traveled to Carson Park for the final game of the series. Both team’s offenses were blazing when the game kicked off as the game was tied at 6 after just the first two innings. But after the starting pitchers were relieved, the offense slowed down tremendously as it became a pitcher’s duel between Erik Kaiser of Duluth and Payton Sherlin. Both men pitched 4+ innings out of the bullpen and totaled 4 strikeouts. The Huskies managed to score a run in the 5th inning to take a 7-6 lead, but Eau Claire regained their prowess at the plate in the late innings as they scored a run in the 8th to tie the game, and walked it off in the 9th on a walk-off wild pitch to win 8-7. This game would be the beginning of a hot streak for Huskies Catcher Max Guzman though as he went 2-4 with two RBI’s and smacked his first home run of the season.

On Tuesday the team traveled to Willmar for a two-game set against the Stingers. This contest was quick and easy for the Stingers as they held an 11-1 lead after the 5th inning ended. Willmar’s first 3 hitters in the order Sam Baier, Brandon Boissiere, and Chase Stanke were the Achilles heel for Duluth as they combined to score 7 runs and get 5 RBI’s on 7 hits and struck out just once in their 15 at-bats. Guzman did, however, continue to show his power with another home run. This time it was a 3-run bomb off Masen Palmier in the 8th inning. Matt Hogan also quietly put together a nice night at the plate with 3 hits and an RBI and has stepped into the role as the Huskies everyday Center Fielder.

In game two of the series, both teams pitching was on point as Jared Milch went 6 innings for the Huskies and gave up just one run on only 3 hits, while Jack Zigan of the Stingers gave up no runs over his 6-inning outing. But the Huskies scored their first run in the 8th inning and managed to tie up the game in the 9th inning when Matt Hogan crossed home on a fielder’s choice to send the game to extra innings. Duluth exploded for 4 runs in the 10th inning, all without logging a single hit. The Stingers allowed the runs to score on multiple errors that allowed men to get on base and then walked home several runs. Willmar would attempt to comeback in their half of the 10th and nearly did; scoring 3 consecutive runs to make it a one-run ballgame. But Matt Hogan would make a heroic diving catch in center field to get the 3rd out and end the game with Duluth in front 6-5.

Yesterday the Huskies went north of the border to start a two-game series against Thunder Bay. Lance Ford and Max Guzman led the Huskies offense in a 10-1 blowout that ended with almost everyone in the lineup logging at least one hit and an RBI. Ford and Guzman both had 4 hit nights, and Hogan, Zimmerman, and Gamm all had 2 hits. Duluth got off to a quick start and scored 6 runs through the first two innings and would hold an 8-1 lead after the 6th inning. Ricky Reynoso had his best start of the season, giving up one run on 5 hits over 6 complete innings, and punched out a season-high 9 hitters. He mixed up his fastball and changeup evenly to keep the Border Cats off balance and continuously pounded the strike zone. The Huskies ended up scoring 10 runs on 17 hits to take game one of the series.

Duluth goes for the two-game sweep tonight against Thunder Bay. First pitch is set for 6:05 pm CT with live game coverage on 92.1 The Fan and twinportssportshub.com beginning at 5:55 pm CT. All Duluth Huskies and Northwoods League games are live-streamed online at portal.stretchlive.com/nwl to watch.

Be sure to follow the Duluth Huskies on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat all season long. Check out duluthhuskies.com for tickets to upcoming games. For more in-depth news on the Huskies, be sure to follow @XtraInningsWithRyne and @JoeChatzHuskies on Facebook.

 

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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.