Duluth Huskies shut out in home opener
Pitchers tend to dominate early in the Northwoods League baseball season as college players adjust to using wooden bats. That was apparent again Monday in the Duluth Huskies' home opener, making Huskies starting pitcher Frank DeJiulio a hard-luck...
Pitchers tend to dominate early in the Northwoods League baseball season as college players adjust to using wooden bats.
That was apparent again Monday in the Duluth Huskies' home opener, making Huskies starting pitcher Frank DeJiulio a hard-luck loser for the second straight outing as Duluth fell 2-0 to the Mankato MoonDogs before 1,134 at Wade Stadium.
DeJiulio, who started in the Huskies' 1-0 season-opening loss last week at Thunder Bay, has allowed just one run in each of his two starts -- both times in the first inning -- but the end result has been the same.
"You can't let it bother you. You just have to go back out, keep throwing strikes and trust your defense," said DeJiulio, a 44th-round selection of the Chicago Cubs in the 2009 Major League Baseball draft who will play next season for the University of Florida. "We've got nothing to worry about. We've got a very talented team this year, so it's just a matter of time."
Ryan Demmin of Minnesota State-Mankato and Luke Anderson of North Dakota State combined on a five-hitter for the MoonDogs (3-3).
Demmin transferred last season from Wisconsin-Oshkosh to Minnesota State, a Minnesota Duluth rival in the NCAA Division II Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. He was redshirted last season but is certainly showing he belongs in the woodbat league made up largely of Division I players. The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder hasn't allowed a run in 13 1/3 innings, with 18 strikeouts to just three walks.
"Ryan was an All-Star in the Northwoods League last year and is certainly more than your average D2 player," said Mankato coach Mike Orchard. "He's a high-level pitcher. He was lights out for us last year and has been again this year, and what you saw out there against Duluth, to be honest, wasn't even his best stuff."
DeJiulio went 5 1/3 innings, with five strikeouts and two walks. He gave up a walk to Jose Perez to lead off the game. Perez later scored the game-winner on Robbie Robinson's single. Mankato added an insurance run in the ninth against Huskies reliever Robbie Collier, a junior from North Florida who was otherwise stellar, striking out five in 3 1/3 innings.
Perez and Robinson had two hits apiece for the MoonDogs, while leadoff hitter Barrett Serrato of Purdue had two of the five hits for the Huskies (2-3). Duluth's best chance to score was in the bottom of the first, but a diving catch by Mankato
*ight fielder Danny Miller saved a run.
Mankato stranded seven runners while Duluth stranded six. The Huskies had a combined 19 hits during their two-game winning streak entering Monday.
"Frank just needs to have a little better command in that first inning, but he'll be fine," said Duluth coach Daniel Hersey. "Frank is a bulldog who works hard. No worries there. He'll work in the bullpen on that and be ready to rock and roll on his next start. We just have to swing the sticks a little bit better. We've got to be a little more aggressive and not let the pitcher
Standings and box score on Page A6