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Bats silent, no support for Huffman

Aces’ Josh Smith fires complete-game shutout

Post-Bulletin staff

OWATONNA — The bats went silent for the Austin Blue Sox in a 1-0 loss to the Owatonna Aces on Friday night at Dartts Park.

Joe Huffman of the Blue Sox and Josh Smith of the Aces engaged in an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel. This was Huffman’s most effective start of the season as he had nine strikeouts, but there was no offense from the Blue Sox.

Smith threw a complete game and struck out 14 batters. The Aces pitcher allowed just four hits and two walks in the close win. Huffman went eight innings, allowed five hits, and only one walk.

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The only run of the night came in the bottom of the third inning. Josh Pilcher of the Aces reached base on a dropped third strike and moved to second on another error. Pilcher then scored on a single by Tate Cummins.

Huffman then threw scoreless innings the rest of the way, but it wasn’t enough to stave off defeat. Smith retired the last nine batters he faced, and completed the shutout win.

After the Blue Sox got a base hit and an error to lead off the top of the seventh inning, Smith struck out the next three batters to end the only legitimate threat on the night from the Blue Sox. Duell Higbe had two hits and that was the only highlight from the anemic offense.

Blue Sox (8-12) travel east on Sunday for a doubleheader against Coon Valley, Wis.

OWATONNA 1, BLUE SOX 0

Blue Sox 000 000 000 — 0 4 2

Owatonna 001 000 00x — 1 5 1

Austin Blue Sox: Aaron Port 1-3, 3 SB; Duell Higbe 2-4. LP: Joe Huffman 8 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 9 K.

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Owatonna Aces: Derek Eddie 2-3, walk; Tate Cummins 1-4, RBI; Kyle Melcher 1-3, 2B; Jason Smith 1-4. WP: Josh Smith 9 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 14 K.

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