Big-time hits, clutch pitching, win extra-inning shootout.
Brendan Reilly, firstname.lastname@example.org
Waterloo, Iowa- Up until the seventh inning at Riverfront Stadium, it looked like the Huskies were on their way to losing their third straight. Then, with the Huskies down 10-3, newly signed Jesse Pierce stepped into the batter’s box with the bases loaded and sparked what would be a comeback for the ages against the division-leading Waterloo Bucks, winning in ten innings 14-12.
Pierce took a full-count fastball deep over the left-field wall, and the Huskies, they had some life. With one swing of the bat, Pierce cut the Waterloo (9-4) lead from seven to three, but the Huskies (4-9) still had work to do.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Bucks were able to scratch across one more, extending their lead to four. But Mike Boeve, the Nebraska-Omaha product, who was already working on a four-for-four day, ripped a single that brought in Cooper Trinkle, and the lead was back to three.
Ben Pederson and Connor Semone combined for the first six innings of the game, and despite Sundquist giving up one run, he struck out seven over the seventh and eighth innings, keeping the lead at a minimum.
Going into the top of the ninth, the Huskies trailed by three, but after three walks on the next four batters, Zac White dug in and delivered a two-RBI single through the right side to cut the Bucks lead down to one. Next batter, Kimo Fukofuka, ripped an infield single that brought in Beau Wimpee the game-tying run.
The Huskies had come all the way back, all tied up at 11.
Sundquist gave way to right-handed pitcher Zach Statzer who brought nothing but gas in the 9th, making quick work of the heart of the Bucks order.
For the third time this season, the Huskies were headed to extra innings on the road. After dropping two heartbreakers against Bismarck and Eau Claire, tonight was not going to be a repeat performance.
Charlie Rhee started off the top of the 10th on second, and after a wild pitch to Boeve, Rhee was able to advance to third. The go-ahead run was 90 feet away. Boeve walked on five pitches, and after two strikeouts, Ambren Voitik had his moment.
In a 1-2 count, with two runners in scoring position, Voitik took an outside pitch and rocketed it to the base of the left-field wall, putting the exclamation point on the night, putting Duluth up 13-11, giving the Huskies their first lead since being up 1-0 in the top of the first. Xavier Carter than ripped a single up the middle bringing in Voitik, giving the Huskies a 14-11 lead.
Statzer came back out looking to close out the win, and after giving up one unearned run, he was able to get Chris Seng to ground out to end the ball game, as the Huskies put up 11 runs over the last four innings, taking down the Waterloo Bucks 14-12.
Statzer and Sundquist combined for four innings out of the pen, giving up two runs, and striking out 11. Statzer picked up his first win in a Huskies uniform,
Three Huskies picked up multi-hit games, capped off by the 5-5 night by Boeve, with Zac White picking up two base knocks and two RBIs, and Voitik coming through with the biggest hit of the night, as he finished the night 4-5.
Duluth goes for the series sweep tomorrow of Waterloo, turning the ball over to Arkansas right-hander, Will McEntire.
First pitch is set for 4:05 from Riverfront Stadium.
The Duluth Huskies are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 27th 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, over 250 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB Gold Glove finalist and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. 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.