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Big 6th Inning Proves Pivotal In 5-2 Loss To Border Cats

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO – 22 days. That’s how long it’s been since the Larks have had a taste of back-to-back wins. And they’re going to have to wait a little bit longer.

The Bismarck Larks lost to the Thunder Bay Border Cats by a final score of 5-2 in a two hour and twenty minute contest on Friday evening.

The Larks came out of the gates with all signs pointing towards back-to-back wins for the first time in over three weeks.

Conner Perry and Cooper Coldiron led off the game with back-to-back singles. After a Noad Sadler groundout that advanced both Perry and Coldiron 90 feet and a Ryan Anderson 8-pitch walk to load the bases, the leading RBI man for the Larks stepped into the batter’s box.

That’s Scooter Bynum and he would grab RBI’s number 26 and 27 on the year with a 2-run single giving the Larks the early 2-0 lead.

Border Cats starter Patrick Ryan sported a 6.49 ERA across his first six starts and the Bismarck offense was looking like they were going to keep it that way and maybe even add to it.

To keep it short, the Larks wouldn’t.

But first, Carson Selin. The right-hander out of Brooklyn Park, MN might have been making his first start of the season, but he looked more like he’d been a mainstay in the Larks rotation.

Selin had tallied as many as five innings in one appearance on the 2017 season serving as one of the team’s long relievers. That’s just about how long Selin was able to have success against this Border Cats offense. That success was dazzling.

The Border Cats had no answer for Selin throughout the first five innings. Selin allowed just two hits across that span walking just one batter while retiring eight of nine hitters at one point.

Although it was a slim 2-0 lead, the Larks seemed to have a grasp on this baseball game. It seemed that way even more so because of the ability the pitching staff had last night to work themselves out of trouble.

Unfortunately for the Larks, that grasp slipped out of their hands and the team from north of the border had reservations for five runs off of Selin in the bottom of the sixth inning.

A leadoff single by Colton Thomas followed by a double from Colin Rosenbaum got the bottom of the sixth off to a rapid start placing runners on second and third with no outs. After a strikeout of Kevin Biondic, Noah Strohl broke a 1 for 21 stretch with runners in scoring position flaring a single into right-center field to cut the Larks lead in half at 2-1.

The Border Cats got a second consecutive hit with a runner in scoring position and it was a big one. Braden Mosley delivered the drive of the game with a three-run home run over the left field wall to take both the lead and the momentum of this ballgame.

Gabriel Lozada plated the fifth and final run of the inning with an RBI single up the middle that scored Billy Cook. Jake Kari came out of the Larks bullpen recording the final out of the inning as Selin’s night was done and the Border Cats snatched a 5-2 lead.

Flying under the radar was the night the Border Cats starter Ryan put together.

After the shaky start allowing two runs on three hits in the top of the first inning, Ryan gave up just three additional hits retiring 10 out of the last 12 hitters that he faced. The Staten Island native looked less like the 6.49 ERA pitcher here in the NWL and more like the 3.00 ERA pitcher he was at Iona College.

Ryan finished with an impressive final line going six innings, giving up just two earned runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts and a pair of walks.

Jesse Bogacz and Evan Johnson kept the pedal to the metal by allowing just one total baserunner and zero hits between the two of them. Bogacz struck out two in his couple innings of work allowing one harmless baserunner by the means of a walk. Johnson recorded his third save of the year going 1-2-3 on 10 pitches to give the Border Cats a 5-2 victory over the Larks.

Kari did his job out of the Larks bullpen pitching two and one-thirds innings of scoreless baseball allowing only one hit.

Anderson continued his hot streak with another multi hit game. Anderson is now 13 for his last 28 with two doubles, two home runs, and a triple in the midst of a current seven game hit streak.

Anderson, along with Bynum, are the lone bright spots in this offense as the Larks find themselves hitting a combined .161 across their last three games.

The Larks will attempt to grab a victory tomorrow in hopes of giving themselves a chance to win back-to-back games the day before the three-day all-star break.

Larks All-Star Tyler Steele will take the ball tomorrow with the first pitch set for 6:05pm ET from Port Arthur Stadium.

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The Bismarck Larks are apart of the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 170 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champion Ben Zobrist (CHC) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM) and Lucas Duda (NYM). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play