The Bismarck Larks are 2020 Northwoods League North Dakota Region Champions after defeating the Mandan Flickertails 5-0 in a best-of-three series on Friday night. A thrilling way to cap off an extremely unforgettable 2020 season.
Larks starter Tommy Wellen was excellent in the winner-take-all game three. The Larks righty went six innings and allowed no runs while striking out three Flickertail batters. Wellen was in control from the get-go, retiring the first 17 batters he faced and carried a perfect game through five and two-thirds innings. It was the first time Wellen pitched in the series his first series win.
Carter Rost followed Tommy Wellen out of the bullpen for the Larks and tossed 2.2 scoreless innings. The righty recorded the final out on a Justin Janssen popup in foul territory to clinch the title for the Fetzer Electric Play of The Game.
Despite dropping a tough game three, Hunter Cooper continued to shine for the Flickertails. The two-way player came in to pitch in the eighth inning and recorded two strikeouts. Cooper was throwing the hardest he has thrown this summer, hitting 91 on the radar gun for the Metro-Area Ambulance Fastest Pitch. He finishes his 2020 season only having allowed two earned runs in 14.1 innings of work.
Cole Hage was a big reason why the Larks were crowned champions. The Larks first baseman went 6-11 (.545) at the plate with three doubles in the series which led him to be named the North Dakota Regional Championship Series MVP. Going into the playoffs, Hage hit .407 with five doubles and seven RBIs in just eight games.
The Larks finished the regular season 33-15 and won the postseason series two games to one. They take several months off before season five begins in spring of 2021.