The Bismarck Larks beat the Mankato Moondogs by a score of 15-3 after an hour and a half rain delay Saturday evening to improve to 11-9 on the season. The Northwoods League pitcher of the night Eric Hildebrand started strong while his offense finished just as strong.

What’s Next: The Larks travel to Rochester to take on the Honkers on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm. Tune in for free at

How It Happened: The Larks got on the board first in the second inning on three consecutive singles with one out from Cole Taylor, Cooper Bowman and Brian Leonhardt. Taylor scored on the single from Leonhardt for the first run of the game.

The Larks added another in the third on a Gavin Rogers RBI groundout to make it 2-0. Starting pitcher Eric Hildebrand went through the Moondogs lineup nine up and nine down in perfect fashion through the first three innings. Hildebrand walked two with two outs in the 4th to stop the perfect game before he gave up a hit with two outs in the fifth inning. The hit was one of only two hits Hildebrand gave up in the outing.

The Larks doubled their lead in the fifth, four consecutive singles to start off the inning from the top of the order drove in both runs. Zack Gregory singled to lead it off before Ty Condel reached on an infield single. David Mendham then drove in Gregory from second with a single to right field before Gavin Rogers drove in the second run of the inning on an infield single to make it 4-0.

Hildebrand then gave up his second hit of the night on a solo home run before closing out his night in grand fashion by retiring the next three he faced to get through the sixth inning. Hildebrand now has four consecutive quality starts to start the season for the Larks but this outing was arguably his best.

The Larks then added two insurance runs in the 8th inning to increase their lead to five runs. Gavin Rogers was hit by a pitch to lead things off in the inning before Jack Chernow singled him over to second. Cole Taylor grounded out to first on a fielder’s choice to make it second and third with one out before Brian Leonhardt singled in two more to up his tally to 16 RBI on the season.

With a 6-1 lead, the Larks poured it on in the top of the ninth inning by scoring nine more runs. The Larks sent 14 batters to the plate in the inning and half of them had hits in the inning while nine of them scored. It started with back-to-back one-out singles from Clay Woeste and Jack Chernow before Cole Taylor was hit with a pitch to load the bases. Cooper Bowman knocked in the first two in the inning with a double to right field before Brian Leonhardt singled to score a run to make it 9-1. Wyatt Ulrich then drove in his team-high and tied for the league lead 18th RBI on a fielder’s choice to increase the lead to nine. Zack Gregory then singled, Ty Condel then reached on an error which scored a run on the play before David Mendham drove in Gregory and Condel with his second double of the game, fourth hit and upped his total in RBI to three in the game. With a 13-1 lead, the Larks kept it going as Clay Woeste then was hit by a pitch before Jack Chernow walked to load the bases. Cole Taylor then singled in the final two runs to complete the nine-run inning.

With the 15-1 lead the Moondogs scored twice in the bottom of the ninth but both runs were unearned. Dominic Arias picked up right where Eric Hildebrand left off finishing the final three innings while only giving up two hits and striking out two in each of the final three innings for a total of six strikeouts in the outing. Arias was dominant, especially in the 7th and 8th innings when he faced six batters and got them all out, while striking out four of them. The Larks improved to 11-9 on the season with the victory while Eric Hildebrand earned the first Pitcher of the Night Honors for the Larks this season in the Northwoods League.


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