Huskies and Loggers Split Wednesday’s Twin Bill
Holgate walk-off home run gets Loggers game one win; Reynoso, Lima lead Duluth to game two win
Duluth, Minn — Tonight the Loggers hosted the Huskies in a doubleheader after game one of the series got rained out Monday night. Both games would be played in 7 innings instead of 9. This doubleheader would be perhaps the most important pair of games of each team’s season, as the two squads sit behind the Eau Claire Express in the standings. With 4 games remaining after this series, the winner of this doubleheader could take a division lead or grab a firm hold of 2nd place.
Jared Milch made his 4th start for the Huskies in game one after struggling against the Waterloo Bucks last week, giving up 6 runs on 8 hits over 5 innings. The Huskies offense was able to back him up in a 10-7 win though. But there was reason for optimism going into tonight’s game as in his three previous starts, he had not given up more than 3 earned runs. Tyler Shingledecker was on the bump for his 6th start of the season and make his 5th appearance against the Huskies.
Alex Tappen drove in the first run of the game in the first inning with an 0-2 count RBI-single, scoring Kyle Jacobsen from 2nd to take an early 1-0 lead. After Milch worked around a leadoff double in the bottom of the 1st, Jacobsen brought home a run of his own with a two-out single in the top of the 2nd for the Huskies’ 2nd run.
Milch and Shingledecker went to work in the 3rd inning though as they both struck out the side, stifling each hitter with at least one breaking ball. Milch especially continuously worked the inside and outside corners in that 3rd inning with his slurve to keep Loggers hitters guessing.
Both teams went scoreless again in the 4th but with two outs and Max Guzman on 1st, Danny Zimmerman drilled a two-run shot over the fence in left-center in the top of the 5th to extend Duluth’s lead to 4-0 with La Crosse getting only three more chances at the plate.
But the Loggers followed suit with more clutch two-out hitting when Kyson Donahue drove in two with a single into right field to make it a two-run game. Nico Lima bobbled the ball in right field which was scored as an error and allowed Liam Bendo to come around and score from 1st. The next batter JT Schwartz hit a single as well, but Donahue was thrown out at home trying to score on the base hit for the 3rd out.
The first reliever of the game appeared in the 6th inning for La Crosse. Side-armer Owen Martin took over for Tyler Shingledecker and struck out the side as he stymied hitters with his sidewinding sliders. Cole Milam also came in as a reliever in the bottom of the 6th for Jared Milch. Milch tossed 5 strong innings, averaging one strikeout per inning and only walking one Logger. The next two frames would go scoreless as La Crosse came to the plate in the bottom of the 7th looking to score at least two runs off of Duluth’s closer Jack Corbell.
Corbell got a flyout to begin the inning but proceeded to walk Hunter Watson and allow a single to Cody Jefferis to put men on 1st and 2nd with one out. The next man Kyson Donahue got his 2nd RBI with a base hit that cut Duluth’s lead to just one. Corbell managed to fight off four straight foul balls from JT Schwartz for the 2nd out, bringing Ryan Holgate to the plate, who demolished a 1-0 breaking ball for a walk-off three-run blast to win game one 6-4. Before that home run, Holgate sat in 3rd in the Northwoods League home run standings with 10 and hadn’t hit one since July 21st.
The Huskies’ number one pitcher Ricky Reynoso graced the mound for game two looking to salvage a split up against Joe Cliver of the Loggers, who made his first start of the summer against Thunder Bay eight days ago and gave up three runs in five innings. This would be Reynoso’s first time facing La Crosse though as he’s only pitched against Eau Claire and Thunder Bay twice each, and Willmar and Waterloo once.
Both pitchers worked out of a couple jams to keep the score deadlocked at 0-0 through the first three innings.
The Huskies had the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the 2nd but failed to bring in a run after Cliver sat down Aaron Greenfield, Drew Downing, and Noah Marcelo all in a row. In the bottom of the 3rd the Loggers started a little two-out rally and got men on the corners with two outs after back-to-back errors by Marcelo at 2nd with the league’s leading hitter JT Schwartz at the plate, but Marcelo was able to corral a the 3rd groundball hit to him and make the throw to strand the runners.
The game wouldn’t stay tied for long as a pair of solo blasts gave the Huskies the first lead of game two. Max Guzman was able to break the tie on the first pitch of the 4th inning with a solo shot off of Cliver, as Nico Lima followed him up with a home run of his own to give Duluth a quick 2-0 lead. Lima nearly hit for the cycle in tonight’s game as he went 3-4, and only needed a triple to complete the accomplishment.
Downing and Marcelo both drew two-out walks which led to Joey Zwak batting both of them home on a doubled to the wall in left-center that knocked Cliver out of the game.
Duluth’s power didn’t go away with Hanan Mauldin coming onto the mound in the 5th inning as Alex Tappen was the 3rd Husky to smack a solo shot to left field. He blasted his 5th home run of the season out over the scoreboard on a 1-0 fastball to take a formidable 5-0 lead. Duluth scored one more run after Nico Lima doubled home Max Guzman.
Kyle Jacobsen upped the home run total up to 6 with a two-out solo shot in the top of the 6th for Duluth’s 7th run, his first of the season.
No more runs were scored as Duluth salvaged the series split by a final of 7-0. He may have gone unrecognized due to the awesome Huskies offense, but Ricky Reynoso threw 7 brilliant shut-out innings in his first start against La Crosse as he gave up just four hits, struck out 5, and walked none.
The Huskies are back at The Wade for the last home series of the season against Waterloo. First pitch is set for 6:35 pm with live game coverage on 92.1 The Fan and twinportssportshub.com beginning at 5:35 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.