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Larks’ Bats Silenced by Leahy’s Stellar Outing

WATERLOO, Iowa – The Bismack Larks are right in the middle of their 8-game road trip that takes them to four cities in three different states. The long days of traveling and long nights at the ballpark can be hard on players and coaches as they try to stay focused on winning.  

At times, it feels as though the games and the trip may never end, but game one of today’s day-night doubleheader was over and done with before you could say “Bismarck Municipal Ballpark, home of Dakota Community Bank and Trust Field.”

In a good ole fashioned pitchers duel, the Waterloo Bucks defeated the Bismarck Larks by a score of 2-1 in a game that lasted just a couple of minutes longer than two hours.  

Bucks pitcher Kyle Leahy went the distance to record the first complete game the Northwoods League has seen this season. Leahy allowed just one earned run on seven hits while recording just three strikeouts and surrendering just one walk.  

Andy Lalonde delivered a stellar performance on the hill for the Larks, although he was saddled with a tough loss in this ball game’s decision. Lalonde went seven innings while allowing just two earned runs on three hits. Like Leahy, Lalonde pitched to contact throughout the game and walked just one hitter while recording merely two strikeouts.

The Bucks got the scoring started in the first when leadoff man Korry Howell was hit by a pitch and proceeded to steal second and third during the next at bat. Keaton Presley brought Howell home on a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Bucks ahead 1-0.  

Scoring was halted until the fifth inning when Scooter Bynum singled to left field to lead off the inning. After moving up to second on a hit-and-run groundout from Trever Leingang, Bynum scored on a two-out RBI single from Wyatt Ulrich to tie the game at one run a piece. Ulrich was thrown out at second after the throw home was cut off at the mound.  

One inning later in the sixth, the Bucks responded as Keaton Presley again found himself in the middle of Waterloo’s offensive production.

After leading off the inning with a double to deep left field, he was moved over to third on a Jay Schuyler sacrifice bunt. Presley scored when Zach Malis scorched a ball at second baseman Michael Pereznegron when the Larks infield was pushed in on the grass. Pereznegron was able to knock the ball down, but his only play was to first base.  

As it would turn out, that was all the offense Leahy would need as hit finished off the Larks on his way to arguably the most impressive pitching performance the Northwoods League has seen all season.  

Pitching is the storyline that jumps out of the scorebook in this contest, but the defensive play from both teams should not be overlooked. In total, the three pitchers in today’s ballgame (Leahy, Lalonde, and Nick Boyles for the Larks in the eighth inning), recorded just seven strikeouts and surrendered only two walks and three hit batters. The ball was in play a lot in this game, and the defense was on top of it. Only one total error was committed in the game.  

Next up for the Larks will be the second installment of today’s day-night doubleheader versus the Bucks. First pitch is set for 6:35pm and can be listened to on mixlr.com/larksbaseball.

With the off day tomorrow, the 7-8 Larks will be looking to get back to .500 for the current road trip so that they can head to Willmar on Thursday with rested bodies and a chance to get back on the positive side of the win column.

The Larks will return home after this trip on Saturday June 17th when they take on the Duluth Huskies at 6:05 pm. Fans, you won’t want to miss this game as The Bain Agency presents the Super Saturday Entertainment Act featuring Mad Chad the Chainsaw Juggler! Get your tickets at larkstickets.com before it is too late!

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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