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College Baseball: Huskies wipe out Stingers in big homestand opener

By Jacob Belgum

WILLMAR — The Duluth Huskies chased Willmar Stingers’ starter Michael Murray in the third inning to beat the Stingers 10-1 Monday night at Bill Taunton Stadium.

Murray mowed down the first six batters he faced (one runner reached by way of error) but gave up a second-inning two-run homer to Duluth’s Alex Wojciechowski to put the home team in a 2-0 hole.

Things only got worse for Murray in the third. After retiring one batter, he gave up four consecutive singles and a double before being relieved by Drew Jacobs. Jacobs inherited two base runners in scoring position and was unable to stop the Huskies rally, giving up a two-run double  before getting out of the nightmarish five-run third inning.

Any attempt by Willmar to muster a comeback was futile, because their bats would not wake up. A lot of that had to do with their opponent, however, specifically the man Duluth sent to the hill.

In his first Northwoods League start, Duluth pitcher Chris Cervantes kept the Stingers’ explosive offense in check. Cervantes surrendered only one earned run on two hits over seven innings.  The Stingers briefly got to Cervantes in the bottom half of the third, but could only plate one base runner, Colton Bottomley, on an RBI single by catcher Kyle Perry. Cervantes wasn’t perfect — he issued five walks — but his wild stuff was effective at keeping the Stingers’ batters off balance for the entire night. 

The Stingers will play a rematch against the Huskies 7:05 p.m. today at Bill Taunton Stadium. Ace pitcher Abe Bobb should provide a shot of adrenaline in his last start in a Stingers’ uniform.