(Photo Courtesy: Lyle Ripplinger)
ROCHESTER, MN– The bats came alive for the Bismarck Larks as they were able to out battle the Rochester Honkers in a game that lasted more than three and a half hours and ended with the Larks coming away with the 11-8 victory. The Larks improve to 11-7 on the season and are in a three way tie for second place in the Northwoods League standings, two games back of the Duluth Huskies.
Bismarck didn’t take pregame batting practice due to poor weather but the Larks came out hot when they scored their first run in a first inning of a road game tonight when Michael Farnell drove in Cristian Montes to put the Larks up 1-0. The Honkers got on the board when a one out solo homerun cleared the wall to tie the game at one. Bismarck was down 2-1 going into the fourth inning before they scored four runs. Ripken Reyes drove in two runs on a single into left field and Brandon Barna drove in another to make it a 5-2 ballgame.
The back and forth game continued as the Honkers rallied back and scored three runs on one swing of the bat that cleared the wall to make it 5-5 in the fourth. Head Coach, Sean Repay said “it was one of those fluke days on the mound and we have to keep the ball down and pound the strike zone early in the count if we want to be successful.”
Jacob Nesbit drove in Kyle Stevens to go on top 6-5 but the Honkers put up two runs in the bottom half to fall behind 7-6. In the top of the seventh inning the Larks scored two runs after Connor Perry got things started with bunt for a hit and Reyes drove in a run and got on base on a fielder’s choice. Reyes later score on a wild pitch to go on top 8-7.
Rochester hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game once again at 8.
With the bullpen struggling for the first time all season, Coach Repay said “The offense stepped up for us tonight and when Rochester punched us, we punched back harder.”
The top of the ninth inning started with Montes getting hit by a pitch, Reyes walking and then Kyle Stevens hit a double off of the right-centerfield wall to drive in Montes and Reyes. Stevens came around to score on a wild pitch to take the 11-8 lead. Colan Borchers got the win on the mound and Jeff Lindgren came in the game in the ninth on the mound and secured the victory and earned the save.
Coach Repay said “Tonight’s win was huge because we can’t get swept on the road and in my mind if we lose game one, then we have to win game two.”
The Larks won by the score of 11-8 and are now 11-7 on the season. They will be back in action tomorrow night against the La Crosse Loggers, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05. Catch all the action on http://mixlr.com/larksbaseball/.
Written By: Cody Shook, Larks Broadcaster.
The Bismarck Larks are a proud affiliate of the Northwoods League, the proven leader in development of elite college baseball players. The Larks mission is to use FUN to make a difference in the lives of our families, businesses, players, and communities we serve. This is accomplished with a commitment to putting fans first and providing high quality family entertainment at affordable prices. In 2017, the Larks sold out 27 of their 36 home games in Bismarck Municipal Ballpark, home of Dakota Community Bank and Trust Field, and were named the Northwoods League’s Organization of the Year.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods 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 190 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). 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.