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Huskies nearly comeback against the Larks; clinch the playoffs with Express loss

Huskies scored seven runs in the final three innings to keep the game close

Adam Cohen, cohena@allegheny.edu

Duluth, Minn. – Although the Duluth Huskies (29-38) were defeated by the Bismarck Larks (30-37) 8-7, the Eau Claire Express were officially eliminated from postseason contention after a 17-2 loss against the Willmar Stingers. As a result, the Huskies reach the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

Starter Jake Schelonka (1-1) was taken out after one inning to be fresh and ready for the playoffs. Unfortunately, he got tagged with the loss tonight after giving up one earned run. The Huskies received three innings from Richard Kiel and Carter Sullivan (who made his Husky debut), but trailed 8-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth. 

After Sullivan, the Huskies threw out position players Michael Brooks and Peyton Powell, who combined for 4.2 innings and did not allow a run. Ray Watt came in to pick up the final out in the top of the ninth to hold the Larks scoreless since the fourth inning.

Even though the Huskies’ bats were quieted for the first six innings, Dom Meza smoked a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to put the Huskies on the board. Meza’s homer at Wade Stadium was the Huskies first since Kimo Fukofuka on June 1.

After finally knocking starter Andrew Paten out of the game, the Huskies trailed 8-2 in the ninth. Duluth’s bats picked up steam and the ‘Skies clawed their way back with an RBI single from Dom Meza, and a two-run double from Bryan Broecker. Three batters later, Mike Boeve laced an RBI single to extend his on-base streak to 31 games. After a walk from Xavier Carter to load the bases, Calyn Halvorson then walked in a run. Sadly, with the bases loaded and being down 8-7, the Huskies were unable to erase a six-run deficit.

The victory moves the Larks’ second-half record to 12-20, while the Huskies fall to 17-16. The Huskies play their final game of the regular season against the Larks tomorrow at 3:05 PM back at Wade Stadium. After the Larks’ series, the Huskies will take on the Waterloo Bucks for a best of three Great Plains East battle in the Northwoods League playoffs.

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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.