Northwoods League Championship Series Kicks Off Tonight In Madison

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The Northwoods League championship series starts tonight, with the Duluth Huskies squaring off against the Madison Mallards.

The Mallards are looking for their second championship, and their first since 2004. They’re led by hard-hitting infielder John Laprise, who hit for a .407 average this year, and outfielder Drew Weeks, who led the summer collegiate circuit with 67 RBIs.

Madison manager Donnie Scott says his team has tenacity. “You can tell when guys are wanting to leave. I don’t sense that in this clubhouse at all. Everybody wants to get this done, and that’s the good feeling I have.”

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The Huskies are the surprise story in this year’s title series, but they have the hotter hand. Duluth is led by league co-MVP Keith Curcio, and Clay Chapman, who was named the league’s 2013 Pitcher of the Year.

Zach Schneider, sports director for Duluth TV station KBJR, says it wasn’t certain Duluth would make the playoffs until they ended the season on a seven-game winning streak, which they built upon in the postseason.

“It’s one of those teams where everyone knows their role, and they embrace their role, and it seems that at the end of the year they’ve hit their stride,” says Schneider. “And now they’re winning a lot of ball games.”

It would be the Huskies’ first title if they win the series. Game One is tonight in Madison. The rest of the best-of- three series is in Duluth.

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