Larks get back to .500 in the second half behind stellar pitching and timely hitting before three day hiatus
THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO – A sigh of relief and finally, the Larks can say after a 23 day drought that they have won back-to-back games.
On the final day before the NWL All-Star break, the Bismarck Larks defeated the Thunder Bay Border Cats by a final score of 2-1.
Pitching, pitching, and more pitching. That was the storyline of today’s game.
The Border Cats handed the ball to Kade Kryzsko for his fifth start of the year and it was an excellent one. Kryzsko began the ballgame by striking out six hitters his first time through the Larks lineup.
The only run Kryzsko allowed came in the top of the fifth inning off the cusp of two consecutive errors by Border Cats left fielder Colton Thomas. Thomas dropped an easy fly ball for the sure third out of the inning. On the very next play, Thomas booted a ball on a Cooper Coldiron single allowing Horanski to score and tie the game at 1-1.
Kryzsko finished the next half inning producing a final line that featured six innings of one run (0 ER) baseball. He struck out eight batters allowing four hits, all singles, and issued two walks.
Kryzsco's counterpart was the kid out of Champaign, IL.
Jeff Lindgren, the Larks usual closer, was granted his first starting opportunity of the season and he took advantage of it.
Lindgren got off to a shaky start walking the leadoff batter and giving up three opposite field hits to next three hitters. The last of those three hitters was Kevin Biondic and he delivered an RBI single to give the Border Cats a 1-0 lead after one inning of play.
The shaky start would, by no means, foreshadow the rest of Lindgren's start. Lindgren would retire the next 13 batters he saw and he used a 4-6-3 double play on his last batter to face the minimum in his final five innings of work.
Lindgren finished his first start of the season allowing just the one run on four hits while striking out five. He left with the game tied at 1-1, but in the next half inning the Larks would put him in the line for the win.
The Border Cats turned to Blaze Bohall, also a regular starter, out of the bullpen to throw the top of the seventh inning. After retiring the first two batters, Bohall had to go head-to-head with the Larks hottest hitter in Coldiron.
Coldiron flared a double down the right field line past a diving Braden Mosley for his third hit of the day and seventh hit of the series. The runners in scoring position were few and far between and the Larks would take advantage.
Connor Perry would play hero as he recorded his third RBI in two days with a two-out single scoring Coldiron to take a 2-1 lead.
That's all that the birds of Bismarck would need to take three out of four games and move to 4-2 on the final road trip before the break.
Jamie Kaye pitched a scoreless two innings and recorded two outs in the bottom of the ninth. In typical Border Cats fashion, the team from north of the border made things interesting.
Colin Rosenbaum singled and Nick Biondic got hit by a pitch from Kaye to move the game-tying run to second and put the game-winning run on first.
For the second consecutive day, Field Manager Sean Repay went to the bullpen to record the final out. This time it was Nick Boyles.
Boyles got Noah Strohl to ground out to Coldiron on a 2-1 pitch to earn his fifth save of the year and give the Larks their eighth one-run victory of the season.
48 games down, 24 games to go.
The Larks are 22-25 overall, 6-6 in the second half, standing two and a half games out of first place. With a much needed 3-day break, the team looks to fuel up for the final stretch of the season and build off the successful trip to Thunder Bay.
The final stretch will commence in Rochester as the Larks take on the Honkers (7-4) for a two-game set. Following the short visit to Rochester, the team will head home for a six-game home stand. The home stand is one of three remaining home stands the Larks have on the inaugural 2017 season.
Make sure to follow along on Twitter and other social media platforms for coverage of the NWL All-Star game in Wausau, WI. Cheer on Tyler Steele and Scooter Bynum as they represent the Larks as the first ever all-stars in organization history.
Rejoin the team in Rochester on July 20th via mixlr.com/larksbassball where the first pitch is set for 7:05pm CT.
# # #
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. 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 website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.