Pitchers’ Duel Ends in Favor of St. Cloud
Milch & Dotzler duel it out in Sunday showdown
Duluth, Minn — After the St. Cloud Rox handed the Huskies their 1st loss in over a week last night in an extra-innings showdown, Jared Milch looked to get Duluth back into the win column on the mound as he faced off against Ben Dotzler. In Saturday’s ballgame, Huskies starting pitcher Schuyler Hill had his 2nd consecutive quality start as he gave up just one run in and struck out 5 through 5 innings of work. The Huskies did manage to tie up the game at 1-1 in the 8th courtesy of a Lance Ford suicide squeeze bunt, but the Rox pulled through in their half of the 11th to win 2-1.
Today’s game replicated yesterday’s early on as both teams struggled mightily to get men on base through the first three innings as both Milch and Dotzler allowed only two baserunners each. There was also a total of four double plays over that span. Today’s game doesn’t come as a surprise though as both pitchers had very strong outings previous to today with Milch allowing one run on three hits in his last start against Willmar on July 10th, and Dotzler limiting Mankato to one run in a 6.2 inning performance back on July 12th.
The game would continue to remain scoreless through the end of the 6th inning as Milch and Dotzler kept on chucking. It seemed as though the key to their success was limiting the number of walks issued, as Milch and Dotzler each allowed one, meaning just 8 of the minimum 36 plate appearances by both teams came by either hits or walks.
St. Cloud would be the team to break the scoreless tie in the bottom of the 8th after Hance Smith found his way to 2nd to lead off the inning, and got the 3rd on a Ben Carew single and proceeded to score on an error by Alex Tappen at 3rd to grab a 1-0 lead and head to the 9th.
The first pitching change of the game would take place in the top of the 9th as Max Rippl came in to replace Ben Dotzler and try to get the save for St. Cloud. Dotzler finished his night after 8 scoreless innings in which he allowed 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4. After getting Channy Ortiz and Lance Ford out to begin the inning, he issued a four-pitch walk to Alex Tappen which led to him being replaced by Justin Wick. Wick would hit Max Guzman to put runners on 1st and 2nd with two outs but Kyle Jacobsen, who pinch-hit for Preston Hartsell, struck out to end the ballgame.
The Huskies now will head to Bismarck for a two-game set against the Larks. 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.