Larks Take Rain-Shortened Game From La Crosse
BISMARCK, ND – Luke Bryan once said that rain was a good thing, and he was right on Saturday night.
The Larks took down the La Crosse Loggers Saturday night by a final score of 6-4 when the game was called after eight innings due to rain and lightning. The win gives the Larks a chance to end the season with a series sweep.
After putting 10 runs on the board in the eighth inning last night, the Bismarck bats picked up right where they left off.
Jeff Mayes and Wyatt Ulrich led off with singles to get things started against Loggers starter Ryan Anderson. Mayes scored later in the inning on Luke Horanski’s infield single, and Ulrich raced home on a passed ball to give the Larks the early 2-0 lead.
In the second, Brandon Lankford struck out but reached first safely on a wild pitch. He later scored on a Mayes sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
With the bases loaded, Ryan Anderson (the Larks Ryan Anderson) singled to right for an RBI, and Horanski bounced into a 6-4 fielder’s choice to score another run to push the lead to 5-0.
Larks starter Connor McNallan had thrown just 5.1 innings for the Larks entering the game, but they were a solid 5.1 innings. He continued his trend and produced a quality start on Saturday.
Through the first four innings, McNallan was lights out. He allowed some hard hits, but the early run support meant he could afford to pitch to contact.
La Crosse finally got on the board in the fifth inning when Noah Bouley brought Cameron Blake home with an RBI groundout. The run snapped a 13-inning scoreless streak for Larks pitchers over the last two games.
Anderson was done on the mound after four innings. He allowed six hits and five earned runs on five walks and four strikeouts. He gave way to Johnny Croley, who threw the next four innings.
McNallan found more trouble in the sixth inning. With two outs and bases loaded, Dashon Moore and Bouley each blooped hits just over the infield to plate three runs and make it a 5-4 ballgame.
The Loggers kept at it in the seventh and put runners on the corners with one out as McNallan gave way to Jake Carlsen. Carlsen got Garrett Christman to pop out to short and Adam Klos to ground out to second to preserve McNallan’s lead.
McNallan went 6.1 innings and found himself in line for the win after the seventh. He allowed four earned runs on nine hits, four walks, and three strikeouts.
In the eighth inning, the Larks added an insurance run as Scooter Bynum hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Philip Jacobson and make it 6-4.
Before the ninth inning could start, lighting was spotted in the area and the game was delayed. During the delay, rain began to come down, and after an hour or so, the field was deemed unplayable and the 6-4 score became final.
The win gives the Larks their 30th win on the inaugural season, and it is the first game in team history that failed to go the full nine innings
Carlsen came up big in the seventh inning, and he was just as effective in the eighth. A 1-2-3 inning preserved the lead and gave Carlsen his first save of the season.
That all but does it for the Larks as just one game remains in the inaugural season. Even though the team has sputtered down the stretch, the Birds have a chance to end the season with a sweep if they can top the Loggers tomorrow.
First pitch for the season finale is set for 3:05pm.
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The Bismarck Larks are a member of the finest developmental league for 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, 180 former 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 portal. For more information, visit www.bismarcklarks.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Larks as your favorite team.