After a much-needed couple of days off, the Bismarck Larks traveled north to Minot for one final road game in 2023. In the series opener of a home-and-home series, the Larks came out victorious in a one-run squeaker.

Both teams would go back and forth early, but it was Minot that got on the board first in the second. Ethan Habelter (Crown) knocked in two with a single to make it 2-0. In the next frame, Bradlee Preap (UC San Diego) would put a ball in play on the left side of the infield, and a throwing error allowed the Larks to tie it at two-all.

The Hot Tots responded accordingly in the bottom of the third, using a Cam Kaufman (De Moines Area CC) sacrifice fly and a Gavin Daniel (Viterbo) RBI double to take another 2-run lead. But, the yellow birds would land another blow to tie the ballgame once again, as after a passed ball scored Brayden Koenig (Cumberland), Justin Goldstein (Middle Tennesse State) singled home a run to once again level the game at 4-4.

After a scoreless fifth, Bismarck took its first lead of the game thanks to Ryker Billingsley (UC Riverside), who launched a two-run round-tripper the other way to make it 6-4. However, Minot wouldn’t quit. Habelter would steal home, and in the same at-bat, Jonah Shields (California State Bakersfield) knocked home a run to once again tie the ballgame.

In the top of the eighth, the Larks loaded the bases, and with two outs, shortstop Benjamin Rosengard (Undecided) played hero once again, pelting a single up the middle to give the Larks a 7-6 lead. From there, Ryan Taylor (Richland) shut the door for a two-inning save, and Bismarck went home winners, playing spoiler to the Hot Tots in Minot’s final home game of the summer despite being outhit. 

On the bump, Bismarck’s Grayson Eierman (Moberly Area CC) picked up his first win of the summer out of relief, while Minot’s Gavin Nalu (Stanford) collected the loss. Ryan Taylor’s save was his second of 2023.

The Larks return to Bismarck Municipal Ballpark for one final time in 2023 on Saturday night to close out the two-game series against the Hot Tots. The Larks are currently 8-3 in the Dakota Dust-up Rivarly series and have a chance to sweep once again. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. CT. It’s also Jurassic (Ball)Park Night and Dig for Cash Night, presented by North Dakota 811. Dakota Community Bank & Trust Field becomes Jurassic (Ball)park for the final game of 2023. Come to the game and get a limited-edition Jurassic Park T-Shirt featuring a Meadowlark as the T-Rex in the famous logo. PLUS, don’t miss out on fans battling head-to-head for the chance to “dig” for $1,111 cash!

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