Monster fourth inning the difference as Woodchucks topple Duluth, 8-5
Having scored just two runs on eight hits in their last two games combined, the Wisconsin Woodchucks’ offense came alive in a big way, as the Chucks defeated the Duluth Huskies, 8-5, Thursday night at Wade Stadium.
With one out in a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, Chucks’ third baseman Paul DeJong blasted his league-leading 19th homerun of the year, a solo shot to left center field. That started the scoring for Wisconsin (22-13, 40-29), and was just the 14th homerun hit all year at Wade Stadium.
Following DeJong’s homer, designated hitter Blair Beck and shortstop Ryan Howard laced back-to-back singles, the latter of which produced a run on a missed catch error by Duluth’s catcher Nolan Johnson.
With two outs, second baseman Zak Leighton doubled to the left-center field gap, driving home another run. Catcher Jack Klages singled home Leighton, and following back-to-back Huskies’ fielding errors, Chucks’ first baseman Brendon Hayden capped the scoring by driving home two on an infield hit. That six-run fourth inning, in which there were six Woodchucks’ hits and four Huskies’ errors, gave Wisconsin a 6-0 lead.
The Huskies (18-15, 27-42) chipped away offensively, as they scored one in the fourth and three more in the seventh. In that seventh inning, the Huskies had cut the Chucks’ lead to 6-3 and had the bases loaded with nobody out. Lefty Jared Skolnicki came in out of the bullpen to face the heart of the Huskies’ order, and recorded two strikeouts and a groundout, allowing just one of the three inherited runners to score. The Chucks led after seven innings, 6-4.
The lead was eventually cut to 6-5, but the offense’s production proved to be enough insurance for starting pitcher Parker Dunshee and relievers Skolnicki, Patrick Kenney and Austin Tribby. Dunshee improved to 4-3 with the victory, going six innings, giving up four runs on ten hits. Tribby recorded the save, his fifth of the year.
Aside from DeJong’s homer, the Chucks got good offensive outputs from Hayden (2-for-5), Howard (2-for-5) and Klages (2-for-2).
The Woodchucks are back in action on tonight, as they take on the Huskies in the series finale. First pitch from Wade Stadium is scheduled for 6:35 P.M. Pre game at 6:20 on Foxsports Radio AM 1390 & FM 93.9.
Rest Of NWL Scores
Kenosha 3 Green Bay 2
La Crosse 15 Kalamazoo 12
Waterloo 10 Alexandria 2
Madison 13 Battle Creek 4
Willmar 11 Eau Claire 6
Wisconsin Rapids 6 Lakeshore 1
Mankato 19 Rochester 3
Thunder Bay 7 St. Cloud 6