Larks Run Into The Wrong Team At The Wrong Time
WATERLOO, Iowa – Sometimes there’s a simple answer in sports. You just get beat. There’s also another difficult reality about sports. You run into the wrong team at the wrong time.
These both proved to be true as the Bismarck Larks were defeated 8-4 by the Waterloo Bucks in the second game of a day-night doubleheader.
Frank Greco got the starting nod for the Larks as he attempted to put an end to the current three game skid. As for the Bucks, Ryan Dunne (Western Illinois University) took the ball in hopes of matching Waterloo’s longest win streak of the season at five games.
Greco wasn’t able to help the Larks find their way back to the win column. After the Larks took a 1-0 lead in the top of second due to a Wyatt Ulrich RBI base on balls, the Bucks responded with an offensive explosion scoring six runs of their own.
The Hickory Hills, IL native in Greco was chased out of the second inning after giving up five hits and recording only two outs. Noah Luedtke came in out of relief and was able to retire the first batter he faced to get the Larks back in the dugout.
The Larks didn’t waste anytime trying to inch their way back into this ballgame as the first three batters of the top of the third inning reached base safely. Noah Sadler walked, Newt Johnson singled, and Cullen Smith walked to load the bases with no outs.
Mason Pierzchalski would drive Sadler in with a sacrifice fly and Scooter Bynum would score Johnson on an RBI infield single. Although the Larks would leave the bases loaded, the Larks had some confidence heading into the remainder of this game.
Field Manager of the Bucks, Scott Douglas, could sense that confidence from the Larks and decided to turn the game over to his bullpen after only three innings from his starter Dunne.
Whether that was the plan Douglas always intended to carry out or an on-the-spot decision, it turned to be pivotal as the Bucks bullpen shut down the Larks offense. The four headed monster of Alec Hernandez (Lynn University), Tyler Booth (Southeastern Louisiana), Zach Patterson (Arkansas State), and Matthew Parea (New Mexico State) allowed a combined one unearned run.
The birds of Bismarck were never able to muster up any more runs due to the lack of timely hitting. The Larks would strand the bases loaded four times in the loss to the Bucks leaving a total of 15 runners on the basepaths.
Yes, the Larks have lost four in a row. Yes, this is the longest losing streak of the season. But there are plenty of positive aspects the team can take away from the day-night doubleheader that resulted in two losses.
In the past four games, the Larks have committed just two errors. One error came in the 2-1 loss earlier today when Quinn Irey tripped up over a bat lying in the batter’s box dropping a pop fly. The other error came in the 8-4 loss to Waterloo when Luedtke’s attempted pick-off of Korrey Howell (Kirkwood CC) got away from him. All in all, the defense is doing its job as they are starting to make both the plays they should make and the plays they could make.
The Larks pounded 17 hits throughout the two game, one day set with the Bucks. Wyatt Ulrich continued to produce as the leadoff hitter going 3-8 in the doubleheader with two RBI and two walks. Scooter Bynum gathered four hits in nine at-bats after getting off to a slow start as a Lark. Newt Johnson reached based five times with three singles and two HBP. Mason Pierzchalski had just one hit to show for all the balls he hit right on the screws. If the Larks can put everything else together with these bats heating up, a Larks winning streak might be on the horizon.
Harm’s first three appearances for the Larks did not represent what this kid is capable of doing. Harm’s performance in the 8-4 loss in game two of the doubleheader with Waterloo showcased the potential out of the Mandan native. Harm completed three innings of near perfect baseball allowing just one hit.
The Larks hope to build upon these positives as they face the Willmar Stingers on Thursday, June 15th. The first pitch of the series is set for 7:05pm.
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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