Huskies scored seven runs over their final three innings at the plate to remain atop the Great Plains East.
Cal Friedman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Duluth, Minn – Hitting can be contagious. On Thursday night, the Duluth Huskies’ bats struggled at the start, but once the hits started flowing, it was all Duluth.
The Huskies came back for a second straight night, erasing a two-run lead to sweep the Waterloo Bucks with a final score of 8-3 at Wade Stadium. The Huskies remain tied for first in the Great Plains East with the Eau Claire Express, who also won on Thursday.
For the second consecutive game, it was the Bucks who opened the scoring. With runners on the corners, Will Cheatham hit into an RBI fielder’s choice to score Caleb Hill from third base to make it 1-0.
Conor Hourigan got the start for the Huskies, and ran into trouble in the second inning. Hourigan surrendered a bases-loaded walk to Colin Kasperbauer to double the Bucks’ lead.
The game started with the Huskies failing to capitalize on scoring chances. Duluth (7-3) left two runners on base in the first inning, then had a runner thrown out at home plate in the second inning, eventually stranding 10 on base.
After three shutout innings from RHP Owen Puk, the Huskies found a way through in the fourth. Elie Kligman dribbled a fielder’s choice to score Joe Vos from third base to make it 2-1. It was the first RBI of the season for the Wake Forest Demon Deacon.
Instantly, the Bucks (2-8) stretched their lead back to 3-1. Tai Walton led off the fifth inning with a monster home run to left field to restore Waterloo’s two-run advantage. It was the Bucks’ fifth home run of the season, and the first on the year for Walton.
Hourigan was taken out after that inning in favor of LHP Caden Edwards. The Duluth native was dominant from the bullpen for the second consecutive inning, throwing three shutout innings and striking out three.
It was Edwards’ brilliant work from the bullpen that led the Huskies on the comeback trail.
Noah Marcelo came home to score on a wild pitch by Bucks reliever Jordan Powell to cut the lead to one. Down to two outs in the seventh, the Huskies bats came alive. Marcelo got the party started, blooping an RBI single to left field to tie the game at three. The Arizona Western product finished 2/2 with an RBI, now up to a team-best 13 runs batted in this season.
Down to two strikes, Devin Hurdle made a play out the blue. With Powell not paying attention, the Omaha Maverick stole home plate, just ahead of the tag of catcher Teige Lethert to give the Huskies their first lead of the night. The Huskies entered the series against Waterloo first in the Northwoods League in stolen bases, and their aggressiveness on the base paths paid off again.
Michael Sarhatt was hit by a pair of pitches on Thursday night, and in his next at-bat, the first baseman made the Bucks pay. The Skyline College product knocked in two more on an RBI single up the middle to give the Huskies a three-run lead going to the eighth inning. Duluth scored four runs on four hits in the frame to surge to the win.
Hurdle recorded his best game of the season, and capped it off in style. The third baseman recorded a two-run triple in the eighth inning to boost the Huskies’ lead to five, and Trent Martin finished off the game with a shutout inning to secure the win.
Caden Edwards earned his first win of the season for Duluth, while Jordan Powell received the loss for Waterloo.
Next, the Huskies will travel to St. Cloud to take on the undefeated Rox for a two-game set. Game one is set for 7:05 P.M. tomorrow at Joe Faber Field.