After a back-and-forth affair, the Bismarck Larks walked away with a thrilling 9-8 walk-off victory in ten innings over the St. Cloud Rox, improving to 3-0 to start the 2023 summer. The yellow birds also hold first place all to themselves in the Great Plains West and are the only team with three wins.
Once again, the Larks found themselves trailing early, as St. Cloud scored two in the first and three in the second. St. Cloud’s centerfielder, Matt Geaotzman (Nebraska Omaha), hit his third home run in two days to give the Rox a commanding 5-1 lead to start.
However, the Larks would begin to chip away in the fourth thanks to a solo shot from Jackson Beaman (Mizzou) in his first game back in ten months after suffering a season-ending injury last summer. Beaman would also cap off a three-run fifth with a sacrifice fly to knot the game up at five.
After St. Cloud took the lead back in the top of the seventh, designated hitter Jacob White (Benedictine) tied it back up with a sac fly of his own. Then, in the eighth, Beaman struck again with another solo home run, his second of the night, to give the Larks their first lead of the evening.
However, the Rox would tie it back up in the ninth, sending the game to extra innings. In the tenth, Ben Vujovich (St. Thomas) brought home a run to take an 8-7 lead, but Bismarck would quit. In the bottom half of that same inning, first basemen Evan Ames (Georgia State) tied it up with a groundball RBI to second base, and then second basemen Kai Hori (New Orleans) played hero, hitting a walk-off single the other way to send the fans home happy. The Larks win 9-8, and Hori’s walk-off is the Fetzer Electric Play of the Game.
On the mound, Ryan Carmack (Illinois Springfield) made the final start of his Larks carer, going five complete innings, giving up five runs, and striking out 3. Carmack’s 91 mph fastball in the third was the Metro Area Fastest Pitch of the Game. Frank Wierman (Arizona Christan) won Bismarck, while Jake Burchman (Tarleton State) picked up the loss for St. Cloud.
The Larks host the St. Cloud Rox again tomorrow night at 6:35 p.m. The Larks will celebrate National Donut Day, presented by Bearscat, and will reveal the Larks Donut of the Year! Plus, the Bismarck Bismarcks make a return with special donut jerseys available to bid on during the game.