BISMARCK, ND – Riding a three-game losing streak, the Bismarck Larks returned home to play the Thunder Bay Border Cats on Friday night. The game starts a four-game homestand for the Larks, their last one before the All-Star break.
With a 5-2 victory over the Border Cats, the Larks taught us there is no better remedy for a losing streak than a little home cooking.
In front of a sold out crowd that provided one of the most entertaining and electric atmospheres The Nest has seen all season, the Larks earned a comeback victory in one of their most complete games in recent memory.
The Border Cats got on the board first in the third inning when Gabriel Lozada singled to right field. On the play, Andy Weber moved up to third, and Lozada was caught in a rundown when Noah Sadler threw behind him to Austin Paschke at first base.
Lozada dove into second base safely when Paschke’s throw to second baseman Mitch Gallagher was dropped, and this allowed Weber to come home from third. Lozada would score later in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Noah Strohl to make it 2-0.
In the bottom of the 4th, the Larks tied the game thanks to one swing from Newt Johnson. Johnson’s two-out, two-RBI double scored Paschke from third and Sadler from second to knot the game at 2-2. It was the first hit allowed by Thunder Bay starter Ben Gillilund.
Andy Lalonde pitched six innings for the Larks and left with the score tied 2-2. Lalonde finished with three hits, two runs (one earned), and four strikeouts.
Sadler and Scooter Bynum each walked to lead off the bottom of the 6th to chase Gillilund from the game. In the inning, Sadler scored on a passed ball allowed by Nick Ciandro. This made the score 3-2 in favor of the Larks and put Lalonde in position to get the win.
Jake Kari, the former Border Cat, relieved Lalonde and threw a scoreless 7th inning in his Larks debut.
Kari came back out for the 8th and got two quick outs before allowing a flared double from Alex Sanchez. Nick Boyles was called on to record a four-out save. Braden Mosley flew a ball deep to left center field, but Bynum made a spectacular running catch to end the inning and [reserve the 3-2 lead.
In the bottom half, the Larks added a pair of insurance runs on a Luke Waldek RBI single and a Cooper Coldiron RBI bases-loaded walk. The Larks led 5-2 after eight.
Boyles pitched a scoreless 9th to lock down his fourth save and secure the Larks a win for the first time their last four contests.
Thanks to the late rally, Lalonde earned his second win of the season, improving his record to 2-4. On the flip side, Gillilund was the losing pitcher of record, moving him to 0-1 on the season. He finished the game with 5.0+ innings pitched and allowed two hits, three runs (one earned), and six walks.
The Larks (1-2) enjoy being at home, there’s no doubt about that. Now that they have the monkey off their back, the second half can officially start as the Larks attempt to push towards the top of the division to earn a playoff berth.
Game two against Thunder Bay (1-2) is set for tomorrow at 6:05 pm. The game will mark the 13th time the Larks have sold out a game in their inaugural season.
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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