Express Offense Too Potent In 13-4 Loss

Even with multi-hit efforts from five players, it’s not enough as the Larks are swept by the Express

BISMARCK, ND – The Eau Claire Express must of ate their Wheaties for the second day in a row.

The Bismarck Larks were routed 13-4 by the Eau Claire Express losing their second game in a row finding themselves on the bad end of a sweep.

Tyler Steele took the bump for the Larks (8-8) on this Sunday afternoon tilt against the Express (9-7). Steele’s ninth start as a member of the Bismarck starting rotation would not end up being his best.

Steele was chased out of the game after just two innings of work making this start his shortest outing of the season. It was the second inning that got away from the 2017 NWL All-Star as he allowed four runs (3 ER) on five hits.

There’s that word: hits.

It should be written down 20 times because that’s how many hits the Express recorded in this baseball game.

That’s correct. The Express went 20 for 41 as a team at the plate. They scored in five of their nine innings and four out of those five innings featured a crooked number. Along with the four-run top of the second that sent Steele to the showers early was a four-run top of the seventh.

The top of the seventh featured a two-run single off the bat of Zach Ashford followed by a two-run blast off the bat of Luke Bandy.

After all was said and done, not one player failed to record a hit throughout the entire Express lineup. All but one player posted a multi-hit effort. The Express were led by clean-up man Justin Evans as he went 4-6 with three RBI.

The lone slimmer of hope for the Larks came after a three-run bottom of the fourth inning. Brandon Lankford plated Newt Johnson with a sacrifice fly and Cooper Coldiron lined a two-out, two-run single to bring the Larks within one run at 4-3.

The only other offense on the afternoon came from Scooter Bynum as he grounded out to the pitcher and brought home Johnson. The team-leading 28th RBI on the season for Bynum came in the bottom of the seventh inning and made it 11-4 for the time being.

For the second consecutive game, the offense tallied double-digit hits. The Larks followed up a 10-hit performance the night before with a 12-hit barrage in this ballgame. Unfortunately, they were only able to push across four runs.

Even more frustrating in the eyes of the Larks was the fact that they had back-to-back baserunners reach safely with one out or fewer in five out of the first six innings and were not able to produce more runs.

There was frustration in the box and frustration on the mound.

After posting a 2.00 ERA throughout the previous week entering into the series, the pitching staff for the birds of Bismarck couldn’t stay sharp.

Following Steele was Jake Carlsen as he made his Larks debut in front of the 17th sold out crowd at The Nest this season. Carlsen retired the first six batters he faced, but the Express offense eventually got to him scoring three runs throughout the next two innings.

Noah Luedtke only recorded two outs in the top of the seventh inning as he was tagged for four runs on three hits. Logan Johnson, also making his Larks debut, tossed two and a third innings allowing two runs on five hits.

On the other side, Gerry Salisbury, Craig Colen, and Cody Dye were all the Express needed. Salisbury made his sixth start of the year pitching five innings allowing three runs on eight hits. Colen allowed just one run throughout two innings while Dye allowed just one hit and no runs throughout his two innings of work.

The Larks pitching staff will aim to get on the right track as the Waterloo Bucks come into town starting tomorrow. The Larks offense looks to produce more runs and hopes to get a few key pieces to their lineup out of their own respective slumps.

Four games in three days due up for the Larks and Bucks (6-10) at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark with the first pitch for tomorrow’s contest set for 7:05pm.

# # #

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 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.