Cullen Smith hits his second home run of the season in largest loss of the season.
ROCHESTER, MN – The Larks aren't used to the result of today's game for two reasons.
First off, the Larks haven't lost by more than two runs in the month of June. Second off, the Larks had won four in a row stringing together their first true win streak of the season.
The Rochester Honkers defeated the Bismarck Larks 10-4 in the first ever game between the two teams.
It was more of the same as the Larks (7-6) extended their impressive streak of scoring in the first inning to six games. Scooter Bynum doubled home Wyatt Ulrich and Mitch Gallagher to make it 2-0.
The lead evaporated the very next inning however as the first four hitters that Larks starter Ryan Byrd faced tallied a hit and came around to score. The bottom of the first was highlighted by Weston Hatten’s (University of Nevada, Reno) three home run to give the Honkers a 4-2 lead.
As play proceeded to the second inning, the Larks continued their battle back ways and the game was seemingly shaping into an atypical Larks contest. Ulrich grounded out to the second baseman bringing home Mason Pierzchalski to cut the deficit to just one.
After that, the game turned into something the Larks weren't acclimated to.
The Honkers (6-7) would use three home runs across the next five innings to post six unanswered runs on the Larks. The home runs came off the bats of Ethan Ibarra (St. Cloud State University), Jordan Hart (Minnesota State University, Mankato), and Griffin Neuer (Bellarmine).
Perhaps the most pivotal long ball of the game came off of Larks reliever Carson Selin. Selin took over in the fifth inning after Byrd finished throwing just four innings while giving up five earned runs.
With two outs already recorded in the bottom of the fifth, Ibarra sent a Selin pitch over the left field wall for a two-run home run to extend the Honkers lead to four.
The Larks wouldn't stop the bleeding until Cullen Smith hit his second home run in as many days. Smith took the first pitch he saw from Honkers reliever Garrett Cobb (Seminole State University) over the right-center field wall.
Other than the run allowed in the second inning and the home run given up in the eighth inning, the Honkers bullpen was lights out. They were called upon on after the first inning when Honkers starter Michael Stryffeler (Lake Erie College) left the game due to injury.
The pseudo starter today for the Honkers ended up being Beau O’Hara (University of Texas) who pitched five innings keeping the Larks offense at ease with just one earned run.
Drew Slade (Ripon College) and Cobb finished the game throwing a combined three innings of one run baseball.
Wyatt Ulrich had another productive day as the Larks lead off hitter going 2-5 making him 6 for his last 10. Ulrich scored another run in this ballgame making it five straight games with a run scored.
The Larks pitching staff came into this contest having given up just five home runs on the season. That total nearly doubled as they gave up four home runs ultimately snapping their four game win streak.
The birds of Bismarck hope to silence the Honkers offense tomorrow as they are set for a 7:05pm first pitch.
As always, follow along via mixlr.com/larksbaseball for all the live action.
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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.