BISMARCK, ND – Fantastic. Phenomenal. Spectacular. Impeccable.
Go ahead and take your pick, but none of these words do Micah Beyer’s performance justice.
The Bismarck Larks only managed to score in one inning versus the Mankato MoonDogs Thursday night, but thanks to their starting pitcher, it was all they needed to get the 3-0 victory.
In his first (and what will be his only) home start, Beyer left his mark on Bismarck Larks baseball and on the hometown fans at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark, home of Dakota Community Bank and Trust Field.
Beyer pitched eight innings of fantastic (or phenomenal, or… ) baseball Thursday night. In those eight innings, he gave up just four MoonDog hits, allowed zero runs to cross home, and struck out 14 batters on his way to being named the Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night.
His 14 strikeouts doubles his previous season-high of seven strikeouts, a number he has notched twice in his three previous starts. Beyer’s 14 strikeouts also sets a record for the most in a single-game by a Larks pitcher, eclipsing the 10 strikeouts recorded by Ryan Byrd way back on Opening Night.
The first two and a half innings rolled by pretty smoothly without a lot of action, but the Larks’ bats made some noise in the bottom of the third.
Quinn Irey, or the “Hometown Hero” as his teammates call him, lined a double into left field to get things started. After moving up to third on a Wyatt Ulrich groundout, Irey came in to score on a Mitch Gallagher RBI single.
Next up was Austin Paschke. Paschke worked a seven-pitch at-bat by fouling off 4 pitches in a row before connecting on a 1-2 pitch from MoonDog starter Brett Newberg.
Paschke sent the ball way out of Municipal Ballpark onto Washington Street to give the Larks a 3-0 lead.
Ryan Anderson singled after the Paschke homer, but he was the last Lark to reach base in the contest. After Anderson, Newberg and relief pitcher Austin Hansen retired 16 Bismarck batters in a row.
Offense for both team was more or less halted after the three-run third inning for the Larks until the MoonDogs managed to put some late pressure on Beyer.
Beyer got into a jam in the eighth inning when he allowed Kenton Crews to lead off with a single and followed it up with a Jake Shepski walk. Alvaro Rubalcaba then bunted the runners up to second and third with one out.
Unphased, Beyer got Toby Hanson to pop out to Cooper Coldiron at short for the second out, then got Ethan Valdez to ground into a 5-3 put out to end the only true threat of the game for Mankato.
In the ninth, Nick Boyles picked up right where Beyer had left off. Boyles threw just 12 pitches to strike out three MoonDog hitters, all looking, to earn his third save of the season.
Beyer notched his fourth quality start in as many attempts on the season as he improved his record to 2-0. His ERA now sits at 0.93 and he is the third Larks pitcher (Byrd, Tyler Steele) to earn Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night honors.
Beyer is scheduled to start the final game of the team’s upcoming six-game road trip in Willmar against the Stingers. It will be his final appearance in a Bismarck Larks uniform as he will be leaving the team shortly thereafter to work an accounting internship in Southern California.
Bismarck Cancer Center sponsored Thursday night’s game, in which the team wore special jerseys to show support for everyone who has been affected by cancer. The jerseys were auctioned off for charity and given out to the highest bidders at the conclusion of the game.
The Larks will return home next Thursday, June 29th, to take on the Duluth Huskies at 7:05pm. Visit larkstickets.com or call (701) 557-7600 to get in on the action before it is too late!
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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