Huskies Take Commanding Division Lead With 12-7 Win
Duluth totals 24 hits in sweep of Eau Claire
Duluth, Minn — Tonight the Huskies played their 2nd game against Eau Claire after defeating the Express handedly on Thursday night to take a two-game lead in the Great Plains East. A 5th run 3rd inning was all Duluth needed as they won 9-1 behind a consistent offense and some stellar pitching from Brock Mosier and Austin Smith.
Tonight Ricky Reynoso made his 6th start of the season. His lone appearance against Eau Claire this season of the season came on July 8th in which he threw one inning and allowed one run on 2 hits in an 8-7 loss for Duluth. He’d face Brad Rindfleisch of Eau Claire, who made his 2nd appearance of the summer tonight.
Right away Zach Gilles and Nick Marinconz led off the game with back to back singles. After Reynoso worked to get two consecutive strikeouts, Brandon Dieter lofted a soft two-out single into centerfield that both Gilles and Marinconz came around to score on for the first two Express runs.
The score remained 2-0 Eau Claire until the bottom of the 4th when Collin Hopkins scored Matt Hogan and Nico Lima with a sharp line drive single into left to tie the game up at 2. Lima and Hogan led off the inning with singles of their own. Rindfleisch was pulled from the game after throwing 3.1 innings and giving up 2 runs (one earned) on 4 walks and a couple strikeouts. Zach Gustafson took the mound to face Duluth for the first time this season and induced a double play on his 4th pitch to keep the score knotted at 2-2 with each team having 5 hits and 2 errors.
Gustafson struggled in the bottom of the 5th, giving up a leadoff single to Noah Marcelo and walking Alex Tappen to start things off. Max Guzman and Danny Zimmerman took advantage of runners in scoring position as the two of them each drove in a run to put Duluth up by two runs. Matt Hogan added onto the lead with a two-out RBI triple down the right field line for the 5th run, and Collin Hopkins drove in Hogan with his 2nd hit and 3rd RBI to make it a 6-2 contest as the 6th inning began.
Schuyler Hill relieved Reynoso in the 6th in his 2nd appearance out of the pen this year. His first time out of the pen didn’t go great, but in 17 innings pitched since he’s given up no earned runs and only 8 hits. He set down the side in order in his first inning of work tonight. Duluth scored for the 3rd straight inning in their half of the 6th on a Max Guzman groundout which Noah Marcelo was able to cross home on. Marcelo walked to lead off the inning and then easily stole 2nd and 3rd on back to back pitches.
Hill struggled in his 2nd inning though as he walked the bases loaded with no outs for the top of the Express’ order. Zach Gilles scored Eau Claire’s first run since the top of the 1st inning with a sac fly to left field, and then Hill struck out Nick Marinconz for the 2nd out. Matt Bottcher looked to have scored a run with a base hit up the middle, but Matt Hogan threw a dart from the outfield that was in time to snag Sam Kohnle for the 3rd out.
It didn’t take long for Duluth to get that run back though, as after the break, Collin Hopkins hit a one-hop RBI double off the left field wall to score Nico Lima from 2nd. Two more runs scored on a bases loaded walk to Noah Marcelo and an Alex Tappen sac fly that Joey Zwak tagged up from 3rd on.
Lima continued to hit well when in the 8th inning he lined a triple off the wall in center field that scored Danny Zimmerman for his 4th hit of the night. Matt Hogan logged his 3rd hit and 2nd RBI right after Lima that extended Duluth’s lead to 9. Owen Meaney was the 3rd pitcher for the Huskies as he entered in the 9th and gave up two straight two-run doubles that brought Eau Claire within 5. After that he eventually walked the bases loaded again which led to him being pulled for Beau Wills who induced a groundball to end the game.
The Huskies hit the road for the next five days and will return back home for the final two home games next Thursday and Friday. First pitch tomorrow against Thunder Bay is set for 5:05 pm CT with live game coverage on 92.1 The Fan and twinportssportshub.com beginning at 4:55 pm CT. 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.