ROCHESTER, MN – For the second consecutive night the Bismarck Larks were topped by the Rochester Honkers losing by a final score of 7-2 on Monday night.
This game had pitcher’s duel written all over it as both starters threw five scoreless innings of baseball to begin this game. For the Honkers, it was Cam Aufderheide (Colorado Springs) out of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. Aufderheide’s night was complete after throwing five innings as he shut the Larks offense down allowing no runs.
For the Larks, it was the Oneida, NY native in Mitch Cavanagh. In Cavanagh’s first start as a Lark he shutout the Honkers throughout his first five innings of work. The right-hander out of Oswego State University allowed just one hit to the first 19 batters he faced.
However, once the six inning rolled around, this game turned completely on its head. It was a pitchers duel no more.
The Larks were the first to flip the script by grabbing a 1-0 lead off Honkers reliever Spencer Johnson (Wayne State University). Mason Pierzchalski roped an RBI triple down the right field line scoring Cullen Smith. Pierzchalski collected his second consecutive two-hit day going 4-8 in the series.
The Honkers would give the Larks a taste of their own medicine by responding in their very next at-bat. They didn’t just respond with one run however, they responded with three runs to start a seven run scoring spree across the next two innings.
After Cavanagh gave up a lead off double to Johnathan Fleek and issued a walk to Zach Zubia, his day was over. The Larks turned to Trenton Stoltz in attempts to conserve their two run advantage.
Weston Hatten had other plans. The Fresno, CA native punished the Larks by lining a two RBI triple down the right field to take a 2-1 lead. Michael Michalak added an RBI sacrifice fly later in the inning to push the score to 3-1.
A 1-2-3 top of the seventh for the Larks brought the Honkers back up to hit and they were hungry for more.
Thanks in part to yet another two RBI hit by Hatten the Honkers pieced together a four run inning to further their lead at 7-1. Hatten dominated the Larks throughout the series going 3-9 with a triple, home run, two runs scored and 4 RBI.
The Larks would add a run in the top of the eighth inning due to a Mitch Gallagher RBI double that carried over the center fielder’s head. The double by Gallagher plated Wyatt Ulrich who scored his 12th run of the season placing him at tied for sixth in the entire Northwoods League.
It was too little too late though as the Larks couldn’t muster up any offense against the Honkers bullpen.
There were positives throughout not only this ballgame, but also throughout this series. Hitters like Pierzchalski are seeming to find their stride. The defense put together a clean series as they did not make one error.
The Larks hope to expand upon the positives of this series and take them into the next one. It is a quick turnaround as Bismarck heads to Waterloo, IA to take on the Bucks in their first ever meeting. The team will end up playing three games in nearly 24 hours as the Bucks and the Larks have a doubleheader scheduled for tomorrow.
You can follow along as both games in tomorrow’s double dip will be broadcasted on mixlr.com/larksbaseball.
The first pitch of the first game is set for 11:05am and the first pitch for the second game is set for 6:35pm.
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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.