Duluth Wins Superior Cup!
By Lance Jones
The Duluth Huskies have once again clinched the Superior Cup, the friendly battle with the Thunder Bay Border Cats by virtue of a 13-5 win on Thursday night. It was the first game for both squads following the All-Star break. Thunder Bay has not had control of the Cup since 2014 and any ties in the season series go to the previous winner.
A couple of debutants sparkled on the game after the all-star game. JJ Rollon (Pima CC-AZ) making his Border Cats debut flourished at the plate going two-for-three with a triple and two runs batted in. Colton Williams making his Husky debut took the win in making the start, lasting five innings with three runs surrendered on three hits and two walks. He had six strikeouts in his start.
Jordan Larson (Northern Illinois) had a monster night collecting three hits in five tries and a home run away from hitting for the cycle. He scored twice and had an RBI. Karsten Vasquez (College of San Mateo-CA) was two-for-four in the nine spot.
After a calm first inning, the second inning set the tone for the rest of the game. Williams got hit up in the top of the second. Alexander Hernandez (Nova Southeastern-FL) took a 0-1 fastball to left to get aboard with one out in the second. Larson lined a ball just out of the reach of the second baseman and it went all the way to the fence allowing Larson around for his first three bagger of the year. Rollon would collect his first runs batted in on a ground out.
Border Cats Starting Pitcher Austin Eggleston (Friends University-KS) would not make it out of the second inning. A double and two straight walks would load the bases. Another base on balls to Matt Hogan (Vanderbilt) made it 2-1. Max Gamm (Nebraska-Omaha) would get hit by a pitch and his free bruise would score the tying run. Eggleston was having a tough time getting calls to go his way in the inning. Lance Ford (Texas) would crush the first pitch he seen over the right fielder’s head to score two more and that was Eggleston’s night. Lucas Reid (Nova Southeastern-FL) would finish the inning allowing two runs both charged to Eggleston. Kyle Jacobson’s (Hillborough CC) sacrifice fly to left and a dropped third strike gave the Huskies a 6-2 lead.
Rollon would get into some triple action in the top of the fourth, as he put one in a similar place to Larson’s ball in the second. Nate Soriano (Houston Baptist) knocked in Rollon on a sac fly to left to cut the deficit to 6-3.
Border Cats Starter turned Reliever Tyler Hansen (Texas Southern) was pressed into action and the Huslies would respond in the bottom of the fourth. Danny Zimmerman’s (Michigan) double scored Jacobson and Alex Tappen (Virginia) to make it 8-3.
The Huskies would score runs in every in every inning from the fourth to the seventh. Thunder Bay managed single points in the sixth and eighth to round out the scoring.
Williams picked up the win in his debut going to 1-0. Eggleston took the loss dropping to 0-3.
The Border Cats wrap up their four game, all-star break interrupted, road trip against the division leading Huskies on Friday night at the Wade. The Cats will welcome in the Eau Claire Express, a team they’ve had mighty difficulties with this season for their final meetings of the year, a four game series starting Saturday night.
EXTRA INNINGS: Joe Moran (Anderson University-IN) pitched in the top of the fourth as the lone representative for the Border Cats in the Northwoods League All-Star game on Tuesday at Waterloo, Iowa. To lead off the inning Moran fielded his position to get Wisconsin Woodchucks bopper Byron Murray (Lynn University). Then he struck out .374 hitting Madison Mallards Catcher Logan Michaels (Viriginia) swinging to get the only two hitters he faced.
Border Cats First Baseman Jake Engel (Dixie State-UT) won the Individual Crown of the Home Run Contest picking up five of the Great Plains home runs in an 11-11 tie.