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Huskies Fall Short in Game Two at Eau Claire

Huskies recorded just six hits, shut out for second time of the season.

Duluth, Minn- It wasn’t to be for the Duluth Huskies in game two at Eau Claire, as the Express rolled on to a dominant 9-0 victory at Carson Park in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The Express recorded nine runs on eight hits in the second win of Thursday’s festivities, holding Duluth without a run on six hits, despite three hits by first baseman Ambren Voitik. The Huskies now trail the Express by two and a half games for first place in the Great Plains East Division.

Harrison Kreiling got his third start of the season for the Huskies, but struggled early on. Despite five strikeouts in two innings, the University of Omaha product gave up an early run on a bases-loaded walk, putting Eau Claire in front, 1-0.

Kreiling used 41 pitches in the second inning, forcing the Huskies to use their bullpen for the last six innings of work at Carson Park. RHP Cam Demos made his Huskies debut from the bullpen, and immediately got some help from his defense. Catcher Eduardo Rosario recorded another caught steal, throwing out Cadyn Schwabe at second in the third inning. In the fourth, Kristian Campbell stole a base hit away from Max Coupe, snagging a line drive before doubling Reed Latimer up at first base.

Starting pitcher Ben Shepard earned the win for Eau Claire (13-5), throwing six shutout innings. The right-hander averaged throwing roughly 12 pitches per inning, allowing just four hits in six frames, giving up just one walk and one hit batsman. The University of Minnesota-Duluth product earned his second win of the season, Kreiling was given the loss.

Through the first six innings, the Huskies (10-7) couldn’t capitalize on opportunities to open the scoring. Duluth stranded a runner in scoring position in each of the first two innings after doubles by Campbell and Devin Hurdle, then stranded JD Rogers on third base in the sixth after a double play and a pop out in foul territory.

After three shutout innings, the Express finally got to Demos in the sixth. Back-to-back singles to lead off the frame set up Sam Hunt to blast a three-run home run to right field, giving Eau Claire a four-run lead. Hunt finished game two going 1/2 with a season-best three RBI.

Mason Burns tossed a shutout seventh, striking out a pair of Express hitters in the seventh, but Eau Claire put it out of reach in the eighth. A pair of RBI singles mixed in with a Duluth error and an RBI groundout plated five more runs for the hosts, who sealed their ninth win of the season at Carson Park.

The Huskies continue an eight-game road trip tomorrow night, as they travel to Joe Taunton Stadium to face another Great Plains Western opponent in the Willmar Stingers. The Huskies swept the Stingers at Wade Stadium earlier this month, first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 P.M.