ROCHESTER, MN – Don’t look now, but that Bismarck Larks are starting to heat up. Actually, go ahead and look, because it’s fun to watch.

The Larks extended their current winning streak to four games with a 4-0 victory over the Honkers on Friday night and have now won five of their last six.

Andy Lalonde was the story as he led the way for the Larks to earn a sweep of the Honkers. Lalonde threw 6.2 innings and did not allow a run to score. He gave up just three hits, walked only two, and struck out seven on his way to earning his fourth win of the season.

Lalonde’s numbers speak for themselves, but they do not tell the full story of his performance.

Throughout the game, Lalonde consistently fell behind in counts. Falling behind is usually not the best recipe for success, but Lalonde never gave in.

Lalonde turned 2-0, 3-0, and 3-1 counts into outs any way he could. Many of his seven strikeouts were well-deserved since he had to challenge hitters with fastballs to climb back into counts. The most impressive part of his outing was not the just his strikeout/walk differential, but how he battled to earn those numbers.

For the second game in a row, the Larks grabbed a pair of 1st inning runs. Connor Perry and Luke Waldek reached via a walk and a hit-by-pitch, and Ryan Anderson ripped a two-RBI double down the right field line to put the Larks up 2-0. They were Anderson’s 14th and 15th RBIs of the year.

The Honkers threatened to tie things up in their half when Weston Hatten and Ryan Fitzpatrick reached second and third, but Lalonde struck out Kenyon Yovan to preserve the early lead.

After the first inning, Honkers starter Beau O’Hara settled in nicely. The Larks had no more answers for him until the 4th inning rolled along.

In the 4th, the Larks loaded the bases with no outs thanks to two walks and a single. Philip Jacobson was hit by a pitch allowing Noah Sadler to come home from third to make it 3-0. Later in the inning, Luke Horanski scored on a wild pitch to extend the Larks lead to 4-0.

The Larks threatened again in the 5th, but Griffin Neuer struck out Sadler and Brandon Lankford to get the Honkers out of the jam unscathed.

In the 7th, the Larks again looked as though they would add to their lead, but again came up empty. Luckily for the offense, the four runs from earlier in the game were more than enough for the pitching staff.

Lalonde was pulled after getting two strikeouts in the bottom of the 7th inning since he was north of 100 pitches.  Jake Kari came in and struck out Michael Michalak to end the inning.

Kari pitched strongly in the next two innings to secure the 4-0 victory for the Larks. He allowed no runs and just one hit in his 2.1 innings of work while walking one and striking out three.

Winners for four in a row and five of their last six, the Larks again appeared to be poised for a playoff push. Currently sitting at 8-6, they are 2 games back of the Mankato MoonDogs for the top spot in the North Division. The Larks will need to keep the train rolling as they head home for a weekend series with Eau Claire.

Saturday’s game versus Eau Claire is set for 6:05pm at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark, home of Dakota Community Bank and Trust Field.

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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 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.

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