The University of Iowa’s Duncan Davitt tossed a gem and Loyola Marymount’s Liam Critchett hit a two-run home run as the Waterloo Bucks eliminated the Duluth Huskies from the Northwoods League playoffs with a 6-0 victory Monday night before 549 at Riverfront Stadium in Waterloo, Iowa.
Waterloo won the best-of-three Great Plains East divisional series 2-0.
Davitt, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-hander, scattered five hits, with eight strikeouts and two walks over 7 1/3 innings. Reliever Aaron Treloar allowed two walks but struck out two and didn’t allow a hit to close it out.
Critchett, meanwhile, provided more than enough offense with two hits, a run and four RBIs while Emi Gonzalez added three hits, three runs and an RBI for the Bucks (44-25 overall, counting playoffs).
Nebraska-Omaha’s Mike Boeve continued his strong play until the end for the Huskies (30-40) with a double and a walk while Northwestern High School grad Jake Brill of Maple added a hit and a stolen base.
Waterloo jumped on Duluth early with three runs in the bottom of the first before adding an insurance run in the sixth and two more in the eighth on Critchett’s blast over the right-field fence.
Duluth certainly had its chances to push a run across but couldn’t get the key hit, leaving nine men on base. University of San Francisco left-hander Oscar Lepe got the start on the mound and settled down after that shaky first inning, allowing four runs (three earned), with five strikeouts and two walks in 5 1/3 innings.
It was Duluth’s first playoff appearance since falling 2-1 to Fond du Lac in the NWL championship series in 2018. The Huskies had a rough first half, going 12-22, but rebounded to go 18-16 in the second half, surging into the playoffs with a strong final week.