The Flickertails defeated the Larks 2-0 in game one of the North Dakota Regional Championship series on Wednesday night to take a 1-0 series lead.
Flickertails starter, Morgan McCloud, was nothing short of excellent. The Flickertails righty went eight innings allowing just two hits. Heading into the game, the most strikeouts that McCloud has recorded in a start was seven. With ten strikeouts in his start on Wednesday, the righty set a new season high. McCloud’s fastball was almost unhittable. The righty hit 87 on the gun multiple times for the Metro-Area Ambulance Fastest Pitch. A 30 minute rain delay didn’t even slow down McCloud. The Larks only two hits were hard hit doubles by Larks first baseman Cole Hage and left fielder Brayden Koenig.
Despite dropping game one, the Larks received great pitching from starter AJ Buchman. Buchman went five innings and allowed just three hits. Each time he was in a jam, Buchman was able to pitch out of trouble by getting big outs. Carter Rost came into pitch in the sixth after Buchman’s strong performance. Rost started off strong by striking out the side in the sixth and followed with a scoreless seventh before giving up the biggest hit of the night.
Seth Lucero broke the scoreless tie in the eighth, with a two-run home run over the right field ivy for the Fetzer Electric Play of The Game. The Shortstop from Dawson Community College, finished the night 1-4 with two RBIs. Reliever Jason Dressel would strike out the side to end the game in the ninth, picking up the save.
The Flickertails now lead the best-of-three series 1-0 and have a chance to clinch the North Dakota Regional Championship on Thursday night. Garrett Moltzan makes his first playoff start for the Flickertails against Paxton Miller for the Larks in a 7:05 first pitch.