Huskies win deep in the Duluth night

Kyle Morrison

DULUTH, MN.- It was a cold and blustery June evening at Wade Stadium in Duluth. The Huskies were hosting the Moon Dogs in a matchup of two teams with strong starts to the 2022 Northwoods League season. The Huskies came in 9-4, and the Moon Dogs came in 8-6.

The Huskies turned to the veteran Pat Miner, coming into his third start with a perfect 2-0 record. The Moon Dogs turned to Luke Young, making his season debut out of Midland College.

The Huskies got the scoring started in the bottom of the second with an RBI ground out from Jared Mettam with the bases loaded that scored Eduardo Rosario. They got their first run despite not having a hit yet in the contest.

Rosario stayed in the center of the scoring effort when he hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third that scored the blisteringly fast Kristian Campbell.

The Moon Dogs responded in the fourth with an RBI single from Boston Merila that made the game 2-1. Davis Crane, the Moon Dog’s Designated Hitter, delivered another RBI in the frame to make it 2-2.

The scoring halted until Davis Crane delivered a go-ahead single in the top of the sixth to put the Moon Dogs up 3-2. Pat Miner ultimately got through the inning without allowing any more damage. He finished his night after solid six innings, allowing only 3 runs and picking up his third quality start.

Jarrett Blunt entered into the game in the sixth for the Moon Dogs and put up 2 and two-thirds scoreless innings to keep Mankato up 3-2. He got into a runners at first and third jam in the eighth, and Mankato pulled him for Simon Gregersen with two out in the inning. On his first pitch out of the pen, he fired a wild pitch past his catcher Brendon Hord which allowed the attentive Kristian Campbell to score.

The game went to the ninth in a 3-3 tie… every baseball fan’s dream.

The Moon Dogs almost broke through the proverbial flood gates to take the lead in the top of the ninth inning, but Nolan Lebemoff, pushed to the ropes with the bases loaded and one out, got a strike out and a fly out to keep the game tied and set up a golden opportunity for the Huskies, a chance they could not convert as they went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth.

Mankato and Duluth went to extra innings…

Per Northwoods league rules, each team gets a runner at second to start each frame. This rule increases the strategy and tension of the moment. Mankato immediately took advantage of their free runner when Boston Merla singled up the middle to score the go-ahead run. Steen Lane, the Huskies reliever, kept things stressful by allowing Moon Dogs to reach second and third but did not allow them to score.

The Huskies got their chance with a free runner, down by one, but with the top of their order due up. Huskies lead-off hitter JD Rogers immediately equaled the score with a ringing single passed the second baseman. The Huskies now looked to win the game, with one of their fastest baserunners on board.

The extra-inning hit parade continued for Duluth as Ambren Voitik and Kristian Campbell both singled to load the bases with nobody out. The next hitter Eduardo Rosario hit a line drive right to the Mankato shortstop Justin DeCriscio who threw the ball into right field, allowing J.D. Rogers to score and handing Duluth the win.

The Huskies improved to 10-4, and Mankato dropped to 8-7. Steen Lane picked up the win for Duluth, Simon Gregersen got the loss for Mankato. The two teams will renew hostilities on Wednesday night at Wade Stadium.