DULUTH - The Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers came from behind to steal a 10-8 victory and split their two-game series with the Duluth Huskies Sunday at Wade Stadium.
The Huskies starting pitcher, Frank De Jiulio, was in prime position to get his first win of the season, but he struggled in the top of the fifth.
With the bases loaded, Vince Bruno's line drive to left field got by the Huskies' left fielder, Pete Cappetta, and rolled to the wall for a bases-clearing triple. Bruno, moments later, scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
The Lunkers were not done, though. After forcing De Jiulio out of the game, they attacked Huskies reliever, Conner Hulse (1-4). After Hulse loaded the bases, Chadd Krist lined a single to right field, scoring two and putting the Lunkers ahead 9-7.
Joe Willman (1-0) earned the win after going 2.1 innings of scoreless baseball in relief. He set up Ray Black, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save of the season in eight attempts.
Duluth's Mark Threlkeld got things going early for the Huskies, as he connected with his seventh home run of the season off of Patrick Nathanson, a two-run blast that gave the Huskies an early edge.
With the win, the Lunkers (7-3) secure a first place tie with the Alexandria Beetles, their next opponent, in the North Division's second half standings.
The All-Star game is scheduled for Tuesday in Eau Claire, Wis. Three Lunkers, Chadd Krist, Nick Anderson and Kyle Teague will participate.
The Lunkers resume play 7:05 p.m. Thursday at Mills Field against the Alexandria Beetles.
Brainerd 001 260 001 - 10 10 0
Duluth 201 400 010 - 8 10 1
Brd: Patrick Nathanson, Joe Willman (4), Rob Matthews (7), Ray Black (9) and Chad Krist
Dul: P: Frank De Jiulio, Conner Hulse (5), Jacob Blax (5), Jason Whalen (9) and Tyler Albright
WWillman. LP: Hulse. Sv: Black.
2B: Brd-TJ Berge; Dul-Casey Lytle, Mark Threlkeld, Austin Gaines, Pete Cappetta
3B: Brd-Vince Bruno
SB: Brd-Russ Hopkins, Bruno; Dul-Zake DeVoss, Lytle
SF: Brd-Berge; Dul-Cody Asche 2
RBIs: Brd-Berge, Krist 3, Bruno 3; Dul-Lytle, Asche 2, Threlkeld 3, Gaines, Albright
LOB: Brd 11, Dul 10
Overall: Brd 5-3, TB 3-5. Next: Northwoods League All-Star Game at Eau Claire, Wis. 7:35 p.m. Tuesday.
Duluth 9, Brainerd 0
DULUTH - The Duluth Huskies took control of the game early and cruised to a 9-0 victory over the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers on a rainy Saturday night at Wade Stadium.
Cody Asche, an all-star and the league's hottest hitter with a batting average near .500 in the month of July, brought home Zeke DeVoss, who reached on a Stephen Wickens error, on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning, giving the Huskies the early lead. Asche's RBI adds to his league leading 43.
After breezing through the first five innings throwing only 55 pitches, Drew Smith struck out Barrett Serrato to begin the sixth, but gave up five hits and a walk afterwards, leading to his exit and a five-run inning for the Huskies, as they opened the game up 8-0.
Duluth would tack on another in the seventh inning, as their nine runs of support were more than enough for their starter, Robbie Collier (4-1), who went six shutout innings.
Brainerd 000 000 000 - 0 4 2
Duluth 101 015 100 - 9 12 0
Brd: Drew Smith, Brian Russell (6) and Chadd Krist
Dul: Robbie Coller, Ben Hughes (7) and Joseph Sharrar
WP: Coller. LP: Smith. Sv: Hughes.
2B: Dul-Cody Asche, Sharrar
SB: Dul-Zeke DeVoss, Pete Cappetta
RBIs: Dul-Asche, Phillip Menou, Scott Sommerfeld, Sharrar, Cappetta
DP: Brd 1, Dul
LOB: Brd 7, Dul