Published On: July 21st, 2022

Kyle Morrison

Waterloo IA.- The Huskies opened up their post-all-star break schedule with a trip to Waterloo, Iowa, to take on the Waterloo Bucks. The last time the Huskies were in Waterloo, they clinched the Great Plains East first-half title on July 4th at Riverfront Stadium. 

The Bucks came into the game with a 2-8 record in the second half and 11-33 overall. The Huskies came in 4-8 in the second half and 23-22 overall. 

On the mound for the Huskies was Mason Burns, who, despite a lackluster 7.47 ERA, was coming off his best start of the year against Eau Claire on July 13, where he didn’t allow a run over five innings pitched. 

The Bucks threw Campbell Holt, who was coming into the season with an equally lackluster 8.88 ERA, but a polar opposite 1.13 ERA in the confines of Riverfront Stadium.

Both starters threw shutout first innings, with the only blemish from either side coming off a Kristian Cambell two-out single in the top of the inning.

The scoring Armistice would not last long, as Duluth put together a 3-hit second inning rally, highlighted by a Jeremy Keller RBI single to knock in JD Rogers. It was Keller’s first RBI in a Huskies uniform. It was 1-0 Huskies. 

Mason Burns responded, putting up a shutdown inning in the bottom of the second and keeping the early game momentum in the Duluth dugout. This beat would continue through the next frame as Burns kept the Bucks scoreless without allowing a hit going into the fourth. 

In the fourth inning, the floodgates opened for the Huskies, and runs came flowing easier than Mississippi River waters. Hudson Sapp and JD Rogers were both hit by Campbell Holt pitches to instigate the rally. Jared Mettam knocked him in with a single to left-center to make it 2-0. 

Jack Painter then grounded a possible double play ball to third baseman Josh Patrick, who proceeded to airmail the second baseman and throw the ball into right field to score two more runs and make it 4-0. 

With runners at first and third in the inning, Jack Painter stole second, and Waterloo catcher Ryan Grabosch threw the ball into center field for the second error of the inning and allowed Jeremy Keller to score to make it 5-0.

Peyton Powell and Kristian Campbell followed with RBI singles, knocking in one run each and making it 7-0. Campbell Holt was removed after Kristian Campbell’s RBI, leaving a mess in his stead. 

Then Jared Mettam came up with the exclamation point on a wild inning, lining a 3 RBI double down the left field line that made it 10-0 and made it a nine-run fourth inning for Duluth. Mettam finished the inning with 4 RBIs in the frame. 

Despite being down 10-0 and being hit with an explosion of bad hops, luck, and juju in the top of the inning, the Bucks responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth off a booming home run from Clayton Gray, who was making his debut in a Waterloo uniform. It was 10-3.

Mason Burns would allow one more run in the fifth off a Shaydon Kubo RBI single to make it 10-4. Burns finished the night with five innings pitched, allowing four runs. 

The Huskies quickly got that run back when Jared Mettam doubled in Hudson Sapp for his fifth RBI of the contest to make it 11-4. 

Dylan Hill came into the game in the sixth as the first arm out of the bullpen for Duluth and put up a scoreless inning, despite allowing two base runners on a walk and a hit. 

His successor Jaxon Edwards did not have the same luck as he gave up two unearned runs on a throwing error from Shortstop Kristian Campbell with the bases loaded to make it 11-6. 

The Bucks’ resiliency continued into the eighth, where they ended Michael Sarhatt’s 6-game scoreless streak with two runs in the frame. Liam Critchett and Alex Crouch led off the inning with a single and a double, respectively, and were knocked in by an RBI groundout from Aaron Ujimori and a sacrifice fly from Shaydon Kubo to make it 11-8. 

Sarhatt came back out for the ninth and walked Ryan Grabosch to lead off the inning. After seeing this, Huskies manager Marcus Pointer immediately called on Nolan Lebamoff to try and get the save. 

It was an uneven outing for Lebamoff as he walked two and gave up a hit batsman to help the Bucks get within two runs at 11-9, but ultimately the Huskies reliever converted the save and finished off a Huskies win.

The Huskies advance to 5-8 on the second half and 24-22 overall. The Bucks fall to 2-9 on the second half and 11-34 overall.

Game 2 of the series will be tomorrow in Waterloo at 6:35 CST. 


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