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Rogers Plays Hero with Game Winning RBI Triple

Kyle Morrison

Duluth, MN.- It’s been a streaky last 12 games for the Huskies. They went from winning five in a row to losing five in a row and have now won two in a row. 

Yesterday’s win went deep into the night as the Huskies scratched and clawed their way to a 2-1 win in 10 innings that ended on a Peyton Powell walk-off single down the left field line. 

The Huskies were looking to build upon that momentum on Sunday afternoon, aiming to win their third game in a row, sweep the Mud Puppies and keep the good feeling going into their three-day break for the Major League Dreams Showcase.

On the mound for the Huskies was Drew Conn from Grand View University, making his team debut. On the mound for Minnesota was Miles Halligan, making his tenth appearance on the season. In 20 ⅓ innings pitched this season, he had a 6.20 ERA. 

The first inning was not the smoothest inning for Conn or the Huskies. Minnesota had runners at second and third with one out thanks to a walk, a single, and a throwing error from catcher Jeremy Keller that allowed both runners to move into scoring position. Despite that, the Huskies debutant got through the inning unscathed, getting Minnesota cleanup hitter Cam Hunter to strike out and the fifth hitter Kristopher Hockenson to ground out to second.

The Huskies had a scoring opportunity of their own in the bottom of the first, loading the bases with one out. The Huskies were also unable to convert after an Eddie Satisky pop-up and a Jack Painter fly ball. 

The Mud Puppies once again threatened in the second inning, putting runners at second and third with nobody out. A stellar throw from Bobby Blandford to gun down Jack Leverenz at the plate for a double play helped Conn once again escape the inning with no damage. 

The Huskies scored the first two runs unconventionally in the bottom of the third. With runners at second and third and two out, Eddie Satisky grounded the ball to the shortstop Noah Dehne who made a gallant diving play but threw the ball too high to first base and allowed JD Rogers to score.

The next hitter, Devin Hurdle, got caught in a run down after being picked off at third base, but with a swim move of magic, he got into home safely to make it 2-0 Huskies. 

Drew Conn was fantastic through 4 ⅓ innings, but after loading the bases in the fifth, he was pulled for Huskies reliever, the man with multiple arm angles, Isaac Rhode. 

Like a licensed escape artist, Rhode got through the inning, getting a weak pop-up from Cam Hunter and a fly-out to center from Kristopher Hockenson. 

Mud Puppies pitcher Miles Halligan pitched great in his five innings of work, allowing only two earned runs. He was pulled before the sixth, with Minnesota-Duluth Bulldog Chad Fox taking over in his stead.

The home cooking did not do much for Fox, who allowed a run in the sixth on an RBI groundout from Jeremy Keller after a Bobby Blandford double that put runners at second and third with one out. 

The Huskies turned to another debutant on the mound for the seventh inning in Isaiah Piscitello. He immediately put runners at first and second but pitched out of it with a strikeout to Matthew Fleischhacker and a double play from Jackson Hauge. 

In the bottom of the seventh, one hometown kid got the best of the other. Jake Schelonka hit a ringing RBI single off Chad Fox through the left side of the infield to knock in Devin Hurdle and make it 4-0. 

The Huskies brought in Michael Hallquist, former Huskies infielder turned reliever, into the eighth to try and preserve the 4-0 lead. Hallquist allowed a run on a little league-style double steal between Jack Leverenz and Kristopher Hockenson that allowed the latter to score, making it 4-1. Hallquist continued to struggle, loading the bases with one out.

With the tying run for Minnesota on first and the go-ahead run at the plate, the Huskies turned to Michael Sarhatt to try and get them out of the jam. He immediately allowed a 2-RBI single from Sterling Sutcliffe that made the game 4-3. He then fired a wild pitch over the head of the catcher Jeremy Keller that allowed Brock Larsen to score and tied up the game at 4. 

The Huskies had just blown a four-run lead. 

In the bottom of the eighth, with Bobby Blandford at second, JD Rogers did his best superman impression and saved the day with a huge RBI triple down the Right Field line that gave the Huskies the lead back going into the ninth. 

For the save, Huskies manager Marcus Pointer turned to JD McReynolds. The Central Missouri product set down the Mud Puppies 1-2-3, handing the Huskies their 30th win of the season and their third win in a row. 

The Huskies will now take three days off for the All-Star Dreams showcase. They advance to 11-13 in the second half and 30-27 overall. The Mud Puppies fall to 0-12 in the second half and 6-23 overall.

Duluth’s next game will be in Rochester on August 4 at 6:35 PM.