by Max Mercy
July 30, 2014
HALLIE, Wis. -- The Duluth Dukes secured a spot in the 66th annual Wisconsin Baseball Association Playoffs, it was announced at the WBA Playoffs seeding meeting last night at Hallie. The Dukes finished in second place in the Upper 13 League with a 7-3 league record, behind the Ashland Merchants' 10-2 mark.
The Dukes will face the Menomonie Eagles at noon on Sat., Aug. 9, at Haugen, Wis. The winner faces the winner of the Haugen Knights/Tilden Tigers game at noon on Sun., Aug. 10, also at Haugen. Two wins puts the team into the finals weekend, Aug. 15-17, at River Falls.
Established in 2007, the club is making its fourth appearance in the WBA Playoffs, and third consecutive showing. First known as the Proctor Padres, the club made its first trip to the playoffs in 2008. Then, known as the Duluth Padres, the team qualified in 2012 and 2013. The Duluth Padres became the Duluth Dukes for the 2014 season.
The Dukes are led by Jimmy Merling (.432 AVG, 16 runs, 32 hits, 2 HR, 14 RBI), Cody Kurta (.412 AVG, 5 R, 14 H, 1 HR, 10 RBI), Corey Pavlich (.383 AVG, 15 R, 18 H, 13 RBI), Mike Lewis (.333 AVG, 5 R, 13 H, 4 RBI), and Tim Nylund (.312 AVG, 15 R, 15 H, 6 RBI).
The 2014 season saw Pavlich, the club's all-time hits leader, record his 100th career hit, and Merling break the club's record for hits in a season.
Click here for full 2014 WBA Playoffs brackets.
WBA Playoffs Results
2008: Brill Millers 8, Proctor Padres 5 (at Haugen)
2012: Whittlesey Reds 12, Duluth Padres 8 (at Rib Lake)
2013: Beef River Bullfrogs 5, Duluth Padres 1 (at Osceola)