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Greco Shines in Larks Victory Over Bucks

BISMARCK, ND – Sometimes you need a little extra motivation to snap out of a three-game losing streak.

The Bismarck Larks defeated the Waterloo Bucks for the first time in franchise history by a final score of 6-1 on Tuesday evening.

That little extra bit of motivation came prior to the ballgame when it was announced that not one Larks player was named to play in the Major League Dreams Showcase Game that’ll take place in Madison, WI on Tuesday, August 8th. The Larks (9-9) used this motivation to handedly beat a Bucks (7-11) team that had their number in the previous three meetings.

Frank Greco looked like a guy that should have gotten a call to head to Madison in early August. The lone run conceded by Greco came in the top of the second inning when Jake Viaene tripled and Jay Schuyler drove him in with an RBI groundout.

That was the only blip on the radar for Greco across seven innings of work. From the third inning to the sixth inning, Greco gave up just three singles retiring nine out of ten batters at one point. He would face trouble after he gave up back-to-back singles to begin the top of the seventh inning, but this was Greco’s night.

With runners on first and third and nobody out, Greco struck out Drew Greenwood and then induced an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play off the bat of Deion Thompson to get out of the jam and keep the 4-1 lead the Larks held at the time.

Greco’s night was complete after that inning as he threw 100 pitches on the dot. He went a season-high seven innings in his eighth start of the year as he struck out six and walked just one.

As for the Larks offense, they decided to get the scoring started early.

The first three Larks batters of the ballgame all reached base safely off of Bucks starter Jared Crescentini. Connor Perry and Luke Waldek both singled and Noah Sadler worked a full count walk. That brought up Ryan Anderson and he would plate Perry with an RBI fielder’s choice.

After Bynum grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the bottom of the first, the Larks were hungry for more in the very next inning. Bucks second baseman Greenwood could not handle a ball scorched off the bat of Perry allowing Quinn Irey to come across to score. The Larks regained the lead at 2-1 for the time being.

They weren’t done yet, however.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Cooper Coldiron recorded his fourth multi-hit game in a row with a double down the right field line that plated Brandon Lankford. Coldiron moved up to third on a passed ball and later came around to score on a wild pitch by Crescentini.

The Larks two-run bottom of the sixth was followed up by a two-run bottom of the seventh that featured another Greenwood miscue at second base that allowed both of the runs to touch home plate. The back-to-back two run innings pushed the lead to 6-1, and this was more than enough insurance for the birds of Bismarck.

Jake Kari was called upon out of the Larks bullpen and he answered the call. Kari pitched the final two innings allowing two hits while striking out Charlie Concannon for the second out of the top of the eighth inning.

Kari used 29 pitches on the night and 19 of those pitches were strikes. The North Branch, MN native has now gone nine and two-thirds innings without allowing a run throughout his tenure with the Larks.

Offensively, it was only the second time in ten days that the Larks had scored more than four runs. And that wasn’t the only slump the Larks broke out of tonight.

Perry, Lankford, and Noad Sadler all had stellar nights at the plate breaking out of their own recent offensive struggles. Perry tallied a multi-hit ballgame for the first time since July 6th and Lankford recorded his first multi-hit contest of the season. As for Sadler, he found himself on base on four separate occasions with three walks and a bunt single.

The Larks look to build off of this victory as they host their one and only home doubleheader of the season tomorrow. The first pitch of game one is set for 11:05am and the second pitch of game two is set for 7:05pm.

Nick Boyles is set to start in game one as he makes his third start of the season for the Larks.

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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 www.bismarcklarks.com 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.