Express score all six runs in 9th inning
Duluth, Minn — The Duluth Huskies and the Eau Claire Express played game two of a two-game weekend set at Carson Park on Sunday evening. The game was originally set for 2:05 pm but would be pushed back to 5:15 pm due to rain delays. The Express took game one of the series on Saturday night by a final score of 15-6, thanks to a ten-run inning that propelled them to the victory. Spencer Koelewyn took the mound for Duluth and faced Nick Alvarado of Eau Claire.
Duluth struck first in the top of the 2nd when Alvarado walked three Huskies to load the bases with no outs for Matt Hogan. Hogan would draw another walk to bring home the leadoff hitter Ramon Enriquez to grab a quick 1-0 lead.
Eau Claire would put their first two hitters on 1st and 2nd in their half of the 2nd inning for David LaManna. Koelewyn made a smart play when he allowed a LaManna pop up bunt to land in front of him and turned a double play, leaving only LaManna on 1st base with two outs. Sam Kohnle would pop out to Nic Kent at Shortstop to keep the Huskies up 1-0.
Nic Kent would lead off the 3rd inning with his second home run of the year that gave Duluth a 2-0 lead. Kent has proved to be Manager Marcus Pointer’s most dependable hitter as he stands atop eligible Huskies in batting average at .346.
Brock Burton and Cole Cabrera would hit back to back singles to start the bottom of the 3rd inning for Eau Claire. But Koelewyn would clutch up and record a strikeout, a pop out, and a Spencer Myers lineout to strand all three Express baserunners.
Xavier Bussey and Matt Hogan both found their way into scoring position with two outs for the Huskies’ leadoff hitter Wade Meckler. He would hit a single into shallow left field to bring home Bussey and extend Duluth’s lead to 3. Matt Hogan, who advanced to 3rd on Meckler’s single, crossed home on a passed ball to make it 4-0 Huskies.
Rece Fink would replace Alvarado in his 6th season appearance as the 5th inning began. Alvarado gave up 4 runs on 2 hits, struck out 5 and walked 7. Both teams were able to get just one man on base throughout the next two innings as Spencer Koelewyn continued to pitch well in what was his best start of the season.
Ramon Enriquez would reach base on a two-out single in the 7th inning which extended his hitting streak to 4 games. He has been one of the hotter hitters for Duluth as he has gone 6/16 with 6 RBI’s and a home run over those 4 games.
Koelewyn would exit in the bottom of the 7th and left runners on 1st and 2nd for Evan Yedinak with two outs. Yedinak walked the first hitter he faced but would get a flyout to Matt Hogan to keep it 4-0 Huskies as the 8th inning began. Koelewyn gave up no runs on 4 hits and struck out 3 over 6.2 IP.
Duluth got back on the board after Xavier Bussey and Justin Moore hit back to back singles to start the top half of the 8th. Matt Hogan would take advantage of a runner in scoring position with an RBI double to the warning track that brought home Bussey and advanced Moore to 3rd. Hogan had a nice evening as he went 1-2 with 2 RBI’s and drew a couple of walks. Alex Rao would take over the pitching duties for Duluth in the bottom of the 8th, replacing Yedinak.
Eau Claire emulated Duluth with back to back singles of their own to start the bottom of the 8th. Xavier Bussey made a great diving catch to draw one out, and Rao would strike out Brandon Dieter and Troy Beilsmith to send the game to the final frame.
Mason Bryant would be the 4th pitcher of the contest for Duluth as he would try to retain the 5-0 lead and give the Huskies a win. After issuing two walks to start the inning, Nick Lopez doubled off the wall in right field to score 2 runs, and another run would be scored off the bat of Matt Bottcher to make it 5-3. Tim Holdgrafer would then come in to try and shut down the Express. But Phillip Sikes would bring home Lopez on a groundout to make it a one-run game. After two more walks and a single, Troy Beilsmith doubled down the left field line to walk it off 6-5.
The Huskies return to Wade Stadium tonight and start a seven-game homestand lasting through the 7th of July. First pitch is set for 6:35 pm with live game coverage on 92.1 The Fan and twinportssportshub.com beginning at 6:25 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.