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Huskies power their way to victory

Michael Brooks goes yard in a three-RBI night

Adam Cohen, cohena@allegheny.edu

Mankato, Minn. – The Duluth Huskies (28-37) win back-to-back games for the first time since July 27 and July 29, as they beat the Mankato MoonDogs (43-22), 12-5.

Michael Brooks returned to the leadoff spot and homered on the first pitch of the game. He later added an RBI sac fly in the third and an RBI single in the sixth.

The Huskies took a commanding 4-0 lead in the fourth because of an RBI hit by pitch from Bryan Broecker, a wild pitch to score Ryan McDonald, and the sac fly from Brooks.

Starter Tony Cortez did not factor in the decision. He began his outing throwing 3.2 hitless innings before issuing a three-run homer to Carson Yates. Overall, he kept the Huskies in the game through four innings of work and worked around a runner on third in both the first and second innings. 

After Cortez’s day was over, the Huskies turned to Jake Schelonka who picked up his first win. He fired three scoreless innings, allowing one hit, one walk, and striking out two. 

The Huskies put the nail in the coffin with a six-run sixth inning that was highlighted by back-to-back RBI triples from Xavier Carter and Bryan Broecker. Brooks then drove in Carter and later came around to score on a wild pitch. Afterward, Mike Boeve tacked on an RBI single, and eventually scored on yet another wild pitch in the inning.

To sweeten the pot, the Huskies added two more in the eighth with back-to-back RBI doubles from Boeve and Rhee. The damage came against Will Hanafan, who was originally the starting center fielder for the MoonDogs. Boeve narrowly missed his second homer of the season by a matter of inches.

To finish off the MoonDogs, the Huskies brought in Xavier Fosbenner and Justyn Schoening for the final two innings. The victory moves the Huskies over .500 for the first time since Aug. 1, and they improve to 16-15 in the second half. Meanwhile, the MoonDogs fell to 19-13 in the second part of the season.

To strengthen the Huskies’ playoff chances, the Eau Claire Express lost tonight, which moves the Huskies’ magic number to two. Duluth has the chance to clinch their first playoff berth since 2018 with another win tomorrow and an Eau Claire loss. The Huskies return to ISG Field at 6:35 PM tomorrow and look to split the season series with the MoonDogs.

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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.