The Larks capped off an impressive 10-8 ten-inning comeback win against the Bull Moose on Tuesday night.
Tuesday’s game marked the final game of the 2020 regular season in the Bismarck Pod. It started with an early lead for the Bull Moose. The Moose bats were off to a strong start, giving their pitching staff a 4-0 lead in the bottom half of the fifth to open the scoring.
Despite the loss, Bull Moose right fielder Dane Nakatsuka enjoyed a successful day at the plate, going 3-6 with two RBIs. The three-hit performance was Nakatsuka’s fourth of the season, and his seventh multi-hit performance. Nakatsuka finishes the regular season as one of the best hitters in Bismarck with a .344 average in 15 games and the active leader in the Bismarck pod with 14 runs batted in.
Justin Goldstein received a little bit of a tune-up before the best-of-three starts on Wednesday night. The Bull Moose righty will now pitch in the playoffs for either the Flickertails or Larks. Several Bull Moose players will stick around in Bismarck to play for the teams in the series to help expand the rosters. On Tuesday night, Goldstein continued to throw his tough fastball that reached 91 on the gun for the Metro-Area-Ambulance Fastest Pitch. Goldstein tossed one scoreless frame.
The Larks received two clutch hits by their left fielder Brayden Koenig. Koenig’s first hit came in the top of the sixth when his team was trailing 4-1 with two on and two out. Koenig launched a three-run homer over the ivy in right field for his first home run of the summer. The biggest hit of Koenig’s 2-5 night came in the ninth inning when his team was down 7-5. With the Larks down to their final out, Koenig singled up the middle to tie the game for the Fetzer Electric Play of The Game.
The Larks would score three runs in the tenth inning to win their fifth in a row and their 33rd game of the season. The Bull Moose finished the regular season 14-33, while the Larks finished the regular season 33-15 and North Dakota regular season champions.
The Larks and Flickertails begin a best-of-three series on Wednesday night to crown a North Dakota Champion. First pitch is at 7:05.