In a matchup between the two best teams in the Great Plains East, the Honkers and the Huskies had a game for the ages. With the score tied at 8 in the ninth, Max Coupe hit a walk-off single down the right-field line to score Carson Applegate, winning the game miraculously for Duluth.
The Huskies built a 5-0 lead in the third inning, and looked to be in complete control of the game. Duluth scored four in the third, with RBIs from Calyn Halvorson, Brylan West, and Caleb Corbin.
However, the lead didn’t last long. The Honkers rallied impressively, scoring 3 in the fourth inning. Former Husky Kimo Fukofuka ignited the comeback with a solo shot, and from there, Rochester had five more hitters reach base in the frame. In the sixth, the visitors continued to show off their hitting prowess, scoring four in the sixth. Nico Regino hit a bases-clearing triple off Taiga Yamane, putting his squad in front 6-4, and firing up the dugout.
As they have done all season, however, the Huskies did not quit. They stranded the bases loaded in the sixth and left two runners on in the seventh, but found their breakthrough in the eighth.
Trailing 8-5 in the eighth, Jack Vanoncini and Josh Duarte led off the inning with singles. With a Brandon Compton walk, the Huskies loaded up the bases. A second consecutive walk to Brylan West brought in a run, and a Lucas Kelly sacrifice fly tied the game at 8.
Eli Sundquist had two runners reach base in the top of the ninth, but kept Rochester off the scoresheet with a strikeout of Paul Schoenfeld. He is still yet to allow a run in five appearances.
In the bottom half, after Jack Vanoncini reached on a walk, Carson Applegate came in as a pinch runner. This proved crucial, as a fast runner was standing on second with Max Coupe at the plate. Hitless coming into the at-bat on the day, Coupe came up clutch, sending a line drive the opposite way into right, scoring the speedy Applegate to win the contest. As he rounded first, Coupe was hounded by his teammates in right field after sealing the crucial win. The energy in Wade Stadium was at an all-time high.
Duluth is now just one game back of Rochester in the divisional race. These two teams will be back for more tomorrow night at 6:35, before the Huskies head out on the road for a six-game road trip.