Northwoods League baseball: Huskies capture first-half crown
The Huskies know they'll be playing at least a best-of-three division championship series in the league's postseason in August.
WATERLOO, Iowa — Paced by a 4-for-5 game from shortstop Kristian Campbell and multiple hits from five other players, the Duluth Huskies booked their place in the Northwoods League postseason on Monday by defeating the Waterloo Bucks 8-3.
Duluth (19-14) finished a half-game ahead of Eau Claire (19-15) in the Great Plains East Division first-half standings. As first-half champions, Duluth will host at least one game of a best-of-three playoff series in August against the second-half champions or, if the Huskies win the second half as well, the team in the Great Plains East with the second-best overall record.
The Huskies led from wire to wire on Monday, keeping the pressure on with 16 hits.
The first run came on Eduardo Rosario's first-inning RBI single. At the halfway point of the season, Rosario is third in the Northwoods League with a .386 batting average.
In the fourth inning, Duluth busted out for four runs, with the big blow a three-run homer from Devin Hurdle. Kristian Campbell singled in Jonathan Vastine later in the inning to make it 5-0.
Waterloo managed a single run in the bottom of the fifth and scored twice in the seventh inning to draw within 7-3 but never seriously challenged.
Campbell drove in two runs. Colin Burgess went 3-for-4, with a solo homer in the seventh inning. Jonathan Vastine, J.D. Rogers, Rosario and Hurdle finished with two hits apiece.
Isaac Rhode was the starting and winning pitcher, allowing one earned run on four hits over five innings. He struck out five.
After a day off, the Huskies will open the second half of the Northwoods League season at home against Bismarck on Wednesday.