Baseball came in second as Hunter Seifert was honored as the Home Run for Life Kid for his battle with cancer.
BISMARCK, ND – The reality is, well, reality isn’t always like Hollywood. One more hit in this ballgame likely would of made Bismarck feel like the entertainment capital of the world.
In their final game of their inaugural home stand, the Larks lost to the Thunder Bay Border Cats by a score of 6-5 to split their second consecutive series. The loss by the Larks (2-2) granted the Border Cats their first win of the season (1-3).
The two starting pitchers, Connor Centala (North Carolina State University) for the Border Cats and Frank Greco (Benedictine University) for the Larks, breezed through seven total hitters throughout their first two innings of work.
The scoring got started in the top of the third when Border Cats leadoff man Gabriel Lozada (Hillsborough CC) doubled home Braden Mosley (Southeast Missouri State University) to take a 1-0 lead.
The lead didn’t last for long as the Larks got right back to their bounce back ways. Spencer Gillund (Bismarck State College) flared a single in the bottom half of the third to score Wyatt Ulrich and tie the game at one.
After three innings of play with the scored all knotted up, the game came to a halt.
No it wasn’t a rain delay. No it wasn’t an injury.
This is where life was actually better than anything Hollywood could have ever scripted.
The Larks and Sanford Health joined forces to introduce the Home Run for Life Kid. Tonight’s kid was Hunter Seifert. Hunter has courageously battled Stage IV of a soft tissue cancer by going through chemotherapy and radiation ultimately making it into remission.
With Hunter’s treatment near the end of its cycle, Hunter took the well-deserved center stage as his story was told over the speakers to the entire Larks fanbase. Hunter proceeded to round the bases as if he hit a homerun high-fiving both the Border Cats and Larks players.
As Hunter trotted, there wasn’t a fan that was sitting down nor keeping their hands to their sides. This moment took center stage as the game of baseball both took a backseat and provided a platform for an extraordinary moment.
Baseball returned and the Border Cats regained the lead in the fourth at 2-1. The Larks responded yet again with four unanswered scoring two runs in the fifth and two runs in the sixth.
Ulrich scorched an RBI triple into the right-center field gap scoring Luke Waldek serving as one of the two RBI hits in the fifth inning. In the sixth, Cullen Smith grabbed RBI numbers three and four with a single up the middle to give the Larks a 5-2 lead.
It was the top of the seventh however that ended the birds of Bismarck hopes of grabbing their first sweep of the season.
Noah Luedtke (Bethel University) gave up a two-run homerun to Colin Rosenbaum (Belmont Abbey College) bringing the score to 5-4 while relieving Greco. Nick Sampogna (Elmira College) relieved Luedtke giving up another two-run homer on the first pitch he threw to JQ Folena.
The Border Cats took the lead and never looked back.
The Larks had an opportunity in the bottom of the eighth inning to get that one big hit. Hunter Wilcher came up to the plate with the bases loaded and one out and ended up grounding into an inning ending 6-3 double play.
Brady Hill (Creighton University) shut the door in the bottom of the ninth with a 1-2-3 frame retiring Michael Pereznegron on a 6-3 putout to grasp the Border Cats first victory of the season.
The winning pitcher of the game ended up being Brandon Fokkema (Dordt College) who threw the bottom of the sixth inning giving up two runs (1 ER). The losing pitcher of the game was Sampogna.
The Larks hit the road as they embark upon their first road trip of the season. The Larks will take on the St. Cloud Rox this Saturday and Sunday.
Listen live on mixlr.com/larksbaseball to hear Larks broadcaster Toph Buzzard make the call.
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The Bismarck Larks are apart of the proven leader in the development of 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, more than 170 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 website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.