WILLMAR, MN – As a sports fan, there's something beautiful about watching an athlete perform at the peak of his or her abilities.
Well, Micah Beyer is one of those athletes.
The Bismarck Larks defeated the Willmar Stingers by a score of 2-0 on Wednesday night.
The Larks (14-16) were backed by a third straight phenomenal performance from Beyer as he threw seven innings of shutout baseball. This was the Larks second straight shutout when Beyer takes the bump.
Beyer extended a scoreless inning streak to 22 innings in the win over the Stingers (15-15). 14 of those 22 innings come against the Stingers due to the seven scoreless innings Beyer tossed verse the Stingers on June 16th.
But the impressive stats don't stop there.
Beyer's outstanding performance lowered his ERA to a 0.75 mark in 36 innings pitched. The 0.75 ERA stands at fourth best in all of the Northwoods League. As for the 36 innings pitched, that's a Northwoods League best.
The Chino, CA native added six strikeouts in the shutout victory to give him 37 strikeouts on the season.
To no surprise, that, too, leads the Northwoods League.
The Larks offense gave Beyer all he needed plus another run.
In the top of the first inning, the Larks used two hits and a walk to load the bases with no one outs. After a force out at the plate in Ryan Anderson's at bat, Cooper Coldiron recorded his sixth RBI of the season with an RBI sacrifice fly.
That would be the only run Stingers starter Joe Vranesic would allow to score. Vranesic finished his first start of the season going five innings allowing just the one run on five hits.
The game finished 2-0 in favor of the Larks, but the Stingers had their fair share of viable opportunities.
Innings one through four for the Stingers offense showcased a runner on third each go-around. In the case of innings one and three, Marcus Still stood on third base with just one out.
Beyer was not only able to wiggle out of these situations, but was also able to work around issuing four walks in the bottom of the fourth still not allowing a single Stinger to touch home plate.
It was simply Beyer's night.
In his fifth and final start as a Bismarck Lark, Beyer would retire the final 10 hitters he faced. Beyer heads back to Southern California to begin an internship he landed back in October of 2016.
He'll make the trip back to the golden state with two Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night Awards as he won it for the second consecutive time when he took the ball for the Larks.
The Larks added their other run in the top of the seventh inning when Connor Perry drove home Quinn Irey with another RBI sacrifice fly.
Jamie Kaye (Augsburg College) made his Larks debut in impressive fashion as he threw two scoreless innings en route to his first save. Kaye allowed two hits on 26 pitches with 18 of those recorded as strikes.
Kaye used his only strikeout to retire pinch hitter Brady Shockey and put an end to the birds of Bismarck three game losing streak.
The Larks finished 2-4 on the road trip and head back home for just two games as they take on the Duluth Huskies.
First pitch from Bismarck Municipal Ballpark is set for 7:05pm.
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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