Right from the jump, Bismarck Municipal Ballpark was rocking on Saturday night. The Bismarck Larks hosted the Minot Hot Tots for not only the 12th and final edition of the Dakota Dust-up Rivalry series but also the conclusion of the 2023 summer. With both teams out of postseason contention, the players had some fun, and the Larks took home a victory handily on the final day of the season.
The Larks defeated the Tots 16-2, and even though Minot scored first in the second thanks to a wacky stolen bag, the Larks exploded in the bottom half of the inning for six runs. The yellow birds brought 11 men to the plate and started the frame with six consecutive base hits. RBIs came from Ryker Billingsley (UC Riverside), Justin Goldstein (Middle Tennessee State), Mike Maanam (North Central), Benjamin Rosengard (Undecided), and Brayden Koenig (Cumberland). It was 6-1 after two.
In the third, after Minot scored another lone run from a Sam Holthaus (St. Cloud Technical and Community College) RBI single, the Larks put up another crooked number in the bottom half. Four runs came across to make it 10-2 after three, and in the wildest turn of events, Justin Goldstein stole home, which was the Fetzer Electric Play of the Game.
Minot wouldn’t have a response for Bismarck at all throughout the rest of the contest, with the Larks putting up another six spot in the sixth and batting around in the order for a second time.
However, the main story of the night was Larks starter Cade Torgerson (Jameston), who nearly doubled his strikeout total on the summer, punching out a career-high 11 batters to move to 2-1 in three starts. He also threw the Metro Area Fastest Pitch of the Game at 89 mph in the fourth. Bismarck would win 16-2, with Minot’s Paxton Miller (Mary) picking up his sixth loss of the season.
The Larks finish the 2023 summer with a record of 26-41 and take the inaugural Dakota Dust-up Rivalry series 9-3. We thank you all for your support of Larks baseball this summer, and we can’t wait to see you in 2024!