Brilliant pitching gets Huskies 2nd straight win
Duluth, Minn — The Duluth Huskies and the Willmar Stingers played game one of a two-game set Wednesday night at Wade Stadium. The Huskies won their previous game on Tuesday night when they came back from a 7-1 deficit to win 8-7. Ricky Reynoso took the mound for his 2nd start of the season and faced Jack Zigan of the Stingers.
The Stingers put runners on the corners with one out for Teddy Peterson in the top of the 2nd inning, but Reynoso would induce a fantastic 6-4-3 double play to get the Huskies out of the inning with the score still 0-0.
Collin Hopkins and Wade Meckler both got on base to begin the 3rd inning. Nic Kent would get on base via fielder’s choice, bringing Max Guzman to the plate with one out and runners on the corners. Guzman lifted a fly ball to deep right field that was far enough for Hopkins to score on a sac fly, giving Duluth a 1-0 lead as the 4th inning got underway. Guzman has shown big-time power through his first 6 games as a Husky, almost always displaying the ability to get under balls and drive them to the outfield.
Reynoso continued to keep the Stingers off balance at the plate by mixing up his fastball and changeup frequently. After 6 innings, he logged 6 strikeouts and allowed 5 hits.
Guzman once again displayed his incredible power when he doubled off the center field wall on the first pitch of the bottom half of the 6th. Alex Tappen followed that up with his 3rd hit of the ballgame, putting runners on the corners with no outs for Danny Zimmerman. He would strike out, Tappen would be caught stealing, and Bussey would strike out swinging to end the inning with the score still locked at 1-0 Huskies. Tim Holdgrafer would come in to relieve Reynoso to start the 7th inning in his 7th season appearance. Reynoso pitched 6 fantastic scoreless innings as he didn’t allow Willmar to establish much of an offensive rhythm. Holdgrafer would allow a leadoff single to the first batter he faced but recovered to get out of the inning unscathed and also allowed no runs in the 8th inning to keep the one-run lead intact.
Chris Peres would take the mound for Willmar for the bottom of the 8th inning, relieving Jack Zigan. Zigan had one of his best starts of the season for the Stingers as he allowed one run (unearned), allowed 9 hits and struck out 4.
Duluth would go quietly in the bottom of the 8th as Holdgrafer took the mound to try and get the 3 inning save. Branden Boissiere would single to lead off the inning, but a 4-6-3 double play and a strikeout ended the game with a score of 1-0 in favor of the Huskies.
Huskies outfielder Alex Tappen went 3-4 in his 3rd game with Duluth and currently sports a .400 batting average. He was very locked in at the plate tonight, seeing just 3 total pitches in his first 3 at-bats and getting 3 hits. “At the end of the day, the best pitches that you’re gonna see are early in the count. That’s kind of the mindset that I’ve had for a while now”, the Virginia product said about his recent mindset at the plate.
He also has shown a great ability as an outfielder, almost always taking quick and clean routes to fly balls; But he wasn’t always an outfielder. “In high school I was a corner outfielder but about 3 weeks before the start of the season at UVA one of our guys went down with an injury, and the coaches stuck me in that spot.” He credits Virginia’s assistant coach Matt Kirby with the seamless transition into the outfield, saying that he “made it a very seamless transition.”
The Huskies face the Stingers again this afternoon for a 4th of July showdown. First pitch is set for 1:05 pm with live game coverage on 92.1 The Fan and twinportssportshub.com beginning at 12:55 pm. All Duluth Huskies and Northwoods League games are live streamed online at portal.stretchlive.com/nwl to watch.
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The Duluth Huskies are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in its 26th anniversary 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, more than 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. 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.