Comeback Kids at it Again
Another Rally in Eighth Secures Sweep
Brendan Reilly, firstname.lastname@example.org
Duluth, Minn – On the 80th birthday of Wade Stadium, the Duluth Huskies would not be denied their third sweep of the year. After only being able to put up three hits through the first seven innings, the Huskies (19-25) found their life for the second straight game against the Minnesota Mud Puppies (4-20) in the bottom of the eighth, putting up six runs, taking game two, 10-7.
The Huskies came out of the gates firing early against Mud Puppies starting pitcher Nathan Brandecker, with Mike Boeve ripping an RBI single that was misplayed by Mud Puppies center fielder Kyle Huckstorf. Boeve picked up RBI 29 as Michael Brooks came into score.
For Huskies’ starting pitcher Tony Cortez, he was spotless through two innings, but much like last night, the Mud Puppies were able to put up a number against a Duluth starting pitcher. The Mud Puppies were able to put up five runs in the top half of the third inning off of Cortez, and he would be pulled after the inning.
For Duluth, they were not able to muster anything in the bottom of the third, and after a spotless fourth from Brody Maynard, the Huskies were able to cut back into the 5-1 deficit.
It was the bottom of the order that was able to spark things for the lineup tonight, as Calyn Halvorson reached on an error, and after four consecutive walks, the Huskies were able to cut it to a two-run ballgame.
Minnesota would respond in the top of the fifth, putting two runs back up on the board with a Will Oberg one-out double, and a Will Sturek single, the Mud Puppies were back up by four.
The Huskies went down quietly in the bottom half of the inning, and Michael Sarhatt came in looking to keep the game close. Sarhatt came in and had arguably his best performance of the year, shutting down the Mud Puppies for three innings, allowing two hits, and striking out two. He was able to keep the Huskies in the game with the Huskies grabbing one run in the bottom of the sixth, with the Huskies down, 7-4.
Sarhatt kept the game as it was recording nine outs, and it was the eight and nine hitters for the Huskies who sparked the rally with one out.
Brett Paulsen who had been on base already twice tonight ripped a single into right, and the designated hitter Ryan McDonald laced a double down the left-field line putting the Huskies in striking distance down two, 7-5. The lineup card turned over to Charlie Rhee who singled putting runners on the corners. Michael Brooks walked on four pitches, loading the bases for Mike Boeve.
Boeve flew a 2-1 fastball deep into the left-center gap that was run down by the centerfield Huckstorf, but it did the job as McDonald came into score, making it a one-run ball game.
Over the past two games, the lineup has had the two all-star bats for Duluth in the three and four spots, and for Ambren Voitik, he continues to show why he deserves a spot in Mankato.
Voitik got a fastball and lashed it into center field that allowed for Rhee to score, and as the throw came in, first basemen Will Oberg overthrew the third basemen trying to cut down Brooks. Brooks was able to come into score, and much like last night, Duluth came all the way back, now leading 8-7.
The Huskies were not done there. Peyton Powell was 0-4 on the night going into his final at-bat, but he did not let the earlier plate appearances phase him. He lined a ball into right-center that brought in Voitik, putting Duluth up 9-7. Calyn Halvorson tacked on one more, and going into the ninth inning, the Huskies were up three with Ethan Hammerberg looking for his second save on the year.
Hammerberg who closed out game number one of the doubleheader against Eau Claire was able to shut the door one again, striking out two and completing the sweep of the Mud Puppies.
The Huskies put up six runs on six hits in the bottom of the eighth, giving them big momentum heading into the final two-game series before the All-Star Break.
Duluth will have Zach Statzer making his first start of the season tomorrow as the Huskies welcome in the Mankato Moondogs to Wade Stadium for the second series this week between the two sides. First pitch is set for 3:05 from Wade 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.