LA CROSSE, WI – Opening night festivities at the newly renovated Copeland Park & Events Center were grand on Tuesday night, but the visiting Duluth Huskies stole the show with a 9-2 victory over the host Loggers in front of 3,077 fans.
Duluth wasted no time getting to work on the new season, plating five runs in the top of the first inning off of Loggers starter Cody Ebert (Columbia College) to give them an early lead that they would never relinquish. Ebert's day was done after just that one inning as he exceeded the Northwoods League pitch count rule and had to exit.
Miles Sandum (San Diego) came on in relief of Ebert in the second and, after surrendering a run in the second, went on to toss seven brillant innings of relief allowing only that one run on five hits, while striking out five. The big Torreros lefty retired 14 straight batters at one point in his Logger debut.
Offensively the Loggers bats were held in check for much of the night by three different Duluth pitchers that limited the Lumbermen to just five total hits on the opening evening. Sage Bruhl (MATC) led the way with a pair of safeties while Connor Perry (Pitt) and Yahir Gurrola (North Florida) each knocked in a run. Gurrola was on base three times and also scored one of the Loggers two runs.
The same two teams will meet again in the series finale on Wednesday night back at Copeland Park & Events Center. Gates will open at 6 p.m. on Subway's Reading Club Night at the Park and the first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.