The Bismarck Larks had a big 11-3 win against the Rochester Honkers tonight to keep the first half championship hopes alive. Tonight’s game was presented by Scheels. The Larks started scoring in the 4th inning and never looked back. Despite having 11 hits in the contest, the Rochester Honkers were held to just three runs in the game. 

What’s Next: The Larks will again play the Rochester Honkers on June 30 at 1:05 pm. The game will take place at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark, the Home of Dakota Community Bank & Trust Field. The Larks hope to complete the two game sweep of the Honkers during tomorrow’s day game.

How It Happened: The Honkers scored first in the top of the third inning courtesy of a two-out double from Tristian Peterson to take the lead against Larks starting pitcher Josh Gray.

The Larks then scored 11 runs in the middle innings to put the game out of reach. It all started with a 5-run fourth inning. AJ DiFillipo led things off with a single before Stephen Baughan was hit by a pitch. David Mendham singled in DiFillipo from second to tie the game on a bang-bang play at the plate. Brian Leonhardt walked to extend the inning with two outs before Cooper Bowman then came through for the Larks delivering a two-out triple that cleared the bases and took the lead 5-1. The Larks batted through the lineup that inning.

The Larks then scored two more in the fifth inning after AJ DiFillipo lead things off with a single for his second hit of the game. Ty Condel then singled to right field and DiFillipo came around to score on the play after an error on the Honkers right fielder that allowed him to score all the way from first. Condel then scored on a David Mendham sacrifice fly to left field to cap off the two-run inning and increase the lead to 7-1.

The Larks put up another crooked inning in the sixth inning to extend their lead. Brian Leonhardt and Cooper Bowman both reached to start the inning before a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jack Chernow advanced the runners into scoring position. Wyatt Ulrich then singled for the first time in the game scoring Leonhardt to make it 8-1 providing the fans with free Bearscat Bakehouse donuts this Monday. If you attended tonight’s game and want to claim your free donut, bring your ticket down to a Bearscat location in the Bismarck-Mandan area Monday morning. AJ DiFillipo singled for the third time in the game which scored Bowman before Ulrich advanced to third on the play, DiFillipo also advanced to second on the throw. Ty Condel then drove in both runs with a double to deep left center field to complete the 4-run inning. The Larks led by 11-1 through the first six innings.

Josh Gray continued his brilliance so far this season for the Larks throwing 8 innings and allowing just two earned runs in his first start of the season. Gray allowed seven hits and walked two while stranding eight Honkers on base in the outing. His defense also helped his cause with a pair of double plays. Fernando Diaz Jr. then capped off the victory by throwing the final inning of the game while giving up just one run. 

Inside The Boxscore: In the last week, AJ DiFillipo has raised his average exactly 90 points as he is up to .270. DiFillipo hit in the 3-spot tonight for the second time in his collegiate career and is 5-for-7 in that spot in the lineup in the last two games with 3 walks and an RBI.

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