Missed scoring opportunities doom Huskies late
Wyatt Kopelman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Days after clinching their first-ever Great Plains East first half title, the Duluth Huskies returned to Wade Stadium with confidence entering a six-game home stand.
Even after battling from two early deficits, the Huskies didn’t get another push.
In their first game of the second half of the Northwoods League season, the Duluth Huskies fell to the Bismarck Larks, 8-4, in front of 503 people on a frigid night at Wade Stadium on Wednesday.
Behind 5-2 in the fourth inning, Duluth (0-1) found a slight spark.
Back-to-back base hits from first baseman Peyton Powell and center fielder Bobby Blandford moved a Duluth runner into scoring position for the first time since the first. Right fielder Hudson Sapp then logged his first sacrifice fly of the season and shortstop Devin Hurdle collected an RBI single, slicing the Duluth deficit to one, 5-4.
But despite losing four straight games of the season series, Bismarck (1-0) was determined.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Bismarck shortstop Adam Axtell expanded the Larks’ lead to four, clearing the bases with an RBI double, followed by a throwing error.
Striking first in the opening frame, Bismarck relied on an error to score center fielder Luke Glascoe for a one-run lead. Duluth right-handed starter Mason Burns struck out the side, nonetheless.
Just as Burns answered with three straight punchouts, Huskies leadoff hitter Jonathan Vastine provided an immediate spark. The Vanderbilt product hit a solo home run to right field, leveling the contest at one run apiece after the first.
Once another run scored for Bismarck in the second, the Larks exploded with three runs in the third. Catcher Spencer Sarringar and first baseman Reggie Williams teamed up for an RBI double each, lifting Bismarck back ahead by three.
Duluth stranded runners in scoring position in the fifth and sixth and left eight total runners on base.
With the loss, the Huskies moved to 11-5 in home contests this season and dropped their first game to the Larks since Aug. 13 of last season.
In his first appearance this season, Bismarck right-handed starter Colin Rost (1-0) earned the win. Pitching 3 2/3 innings, Burns (0-2) was charged with the loss.
Up next, the Huskies return to Wade Stadium for their series finale versus the Larks on Thursday. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.
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’ 28th 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 280 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 (NYM), 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 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. League games are viewable live at watchnwl.com. 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.