Mike Boeve and Calyn Halvorson hit home runs to lead the Duluth Huskies to a 14-8 victory over the Mankato MoonDogs Thursday night in Northwoods League baseball before 1,578 at ISG Field in Mankato, Minnesota.
Duluth (17-15 second half) moves to 1.5 games behind Waterloo in the Great Plains East second-half standings with two games remaining.
If Waterloo wins the second half, the second playoff spot would be determined by overall record, where the Huskies (29-39) maintain a two-game lead over Eau Claire and La Crosse (both 27-39), but only Eau Claire has a chance to unseat the Huskies given the league’s playoff tiebreaking scenarios. If the Huskies win Friday, or Eau Claire loses, they clinch.
The Huskies took control with five runs in the third as Boeve hit a three-run home run and Halvorson followed with a two-run shot. Both players finished with three RBIs.
Duluth, which has won three straight games for the first time since early July, added six runs in the fourth to pull away as the Huskies finished with 12 hits while taking advantage of five walks, two hit batters and four errors issued by Mankato.
Ryan McDonald had three hits, three runs, a walk and two RBIs and Ambren Voitik added two hits, a run and three RBIs for the Huskies, while Carson Yates had a grand slam in the seventh inning to lead the MoonDogs.
The Huskies return home for a two-game series with Bismarck at 6:35 p.m. Friday and 3:05 p.m. Saturday to close out the regular season. Friday’s contest includes fireworks afterward.