A multi-hit effort from returner Spencer Gillund and four other Larks doesn’t cut it in loss to Honkers

BISMARCK, ND – A ballclub can outhit their opponent all night long, but at the end of the day, if they don’t outscore the team in the opposing dugout, nothing else matters.

The Bismarck Larks were defeated 8-4 by the Rochester Honkers in their first game at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark in over a week.

The Larks (11-16) offense exploded for two more knocks than their counterparts with 13 hits. Unfortunately, the hits did not translate into runs as the offense stranded 15 runners on base.

On the other side, in the Honkers (10-15) first ever trip to Bismarck they let their presence be known early. Weston Hatten led off the game with a double and Konnor Zickefoose plated him with a fielder’s choice RBI later in the inning.

A 1-0 lead wasn’t enough for the Honkers as they tacked on two more runs in the top of the second inning when Michael Echavia scored on a wild pitch and Hatten came around to score on Zach Zubia’s league-leading 59th RBI of the summer.

The 3-0 lead after two innings of play came as a surprise to the Larks because of the guy that was out on the bump to start the game. That guy was the ace of the pitching staff, Andy Lalonde.

Coming into tonight’s contest, Lalonde sported a more than impressive 1.07 ERA in his last four starts. One of those four starts was a start against this Honkers ballclub where he threw six and two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball.

The Honkers offense continued to produce after a bottom of the third inning that featured a Noah Sadler RBI single to get the Larks on the board. Rochester extended their lead for a third consecutive inning by scoring two more in the top of the fourth. Ethan Ibarra delivered an RBI single scoring Echavia and Jordan Hart scored on another Lalonde wild pitch.

Lalonde would finally settle in by retiring the final six batters he faced. He produced back-to-back clean innings for the first time in the ballgame sitting down three out of the six batters via the strikeout.

Lalonde’s night was complete after five innings of work where he allowed five runs on six hits and four walks. He also matched a season-high total with seven strikeouts.

A stagnant Honkers offense gave the Larks offense a chance to get to Honkers starter Chia-Ching Ho.

The Larks put up their first crooked number of the night with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Wyatt Ulrich drove home Quinn Irey due to a sacrifice fly and Scooter Bynum singled in newcomer Collin Einertson.

The two runs in the fourth for the Larks, making the score 5-3, ended up being the final straw for Ho on the night. Ho got through four innings allowing three earned runs on nine hits and two walks.

Four innings from Ho meant the Honkers bullpen would have to record 15 outs across five innings. Not only would it take just two guys to accomplish that goal, but also the Honkers offense would come out of its three inning slumber by tacking on three more runs throughout innings seven and eight.

Ryan Dorney and Jacob Green came out of the Honkers bullpen tossing five innings while allowing just one run. That run came because of a Einertson RBI fielder’s choice in the bottom of the seventh that made it 7-4 at the time.

Dorney threw the first three innings issuing four hits, zero walks, and ended up striking out a pair. Green did not concede one hit throughout the last two innings as he walked three and struck out four.

The Rochester offense helped out the bullpen by adding a couple runs in the seventh and another in the eighth. The three runs of insurance off of the Larks bullpen were more than enough for the lockdown bullpen combination of Dorney and Green.

The 8-4 final served as the seventh loss for the birds of Bismarck in their last eight games.

On a night where the Larks recorded their most hits in a week’s span, they could not string those hits together to produce a substantial amount of runs. It’s the third time in two weeks that the Larks have tallied double-digit hits and on the same night scored four runs or less.

The Larks will look to right the ship tomorrow in the second game of a four-game set with the Honkers.

First pitch from The Nest is set for 7:35pm.

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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 www.bismarcklarks.com 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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