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Loggers’ Bats Come Alive Late to Beat Huskies 2-1

High stress late innings fall in La Crosse’s favor

Ryne Ryskoski

Duluth, Minn — Tonight the Huskies began a crucial four-game homestand against the La Crosse Loggers. The three-team race for the division lead is in full effect as heading into today’s game, Duluth stands alone in 1st place while La Crosse and Eau Claire are tied for 2nd a game behind the Huskies.

Last time the two teams met was in Duluth and the Huskies’ pitching staff performed in tip-top shape for a two-game sweep of the Loggers. Schuyler Hill and Owen Meaney combined to shut them out in-game one while Cole Milam allowed one run over 6 innings in a 6-3 Huskies win in game two. Travis Booth looked to do the same in his first start of the summer against Mark Sellers.

But neither team found the scoreboard through 4 innings of play as Sellers and Booth worked to contact to keep a quick pace to the contest. Both pitchers combined for just 4 strikeouts through 24 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Booth would take a no-hitter into the top of the 5th. Troy Bullard led off with a single and stole 2nd before being stranded after a pair of punchouts and a flyout in the bottom of the 4th.

The game remained tied at 0-0 through 6 innings as there 5 combined hits between the two squads. Both pitchers continued to mix up their off-speed with their fastballs to keep opposing hitters off-balance.

Eventually, the first run of the night was scored by Matt Hogan in the bottom of the 7th who hit a run-scoring double into the right-centerfield gap to make it 1-0 advantage Duluth. Hogan was thrown out trying to steal 3rd afterward to thwart the insurance run opportunity.

But Bo Xi Hsiao tripled to lead off the 8th and was the first man to reach 3rd for La Crosse. He’d be brought home immediately by Jack Filby with a sac fly for the tying run. Sellers was chased from the game in the 8th after walking Channy Ortiz to begin the frame. He threw 7 innings and allowed one run on four hits while walking three and punching out 3. Jared Freilich was the one to relieve him and worked around the leadoff walk to keep it knotted at one.

Travis Booth exited the game for Dan Hansen as the 9th frame began. He ended up tossing 8 complete innings and gave up one run on 4 hits and struck out 7 Loggers. Runners got to the corners after a walk and hit by pitch, putting the go-ahead run at 3rd with one out for Hunter Watson. He grounded out to the right side which allowed JT Schwartz to score from 3rd, giving La Crosse a one-run lead as the 9th began.

A high-stress bottom half of the 9th ensued with walks, a hit-by pitch and a failed double steal from Duluth. Eventually Jared Frelich struck out two straight to close the door and secure the 2-1 win for La Crosse.

The Huskies face the Loggers in game two tomorrow night. 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.

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.