(Photo Courtesy: Lyle Ripplinger)
Written By: Cody Shook, Larks Broadcaster
THUNDER BAY, ON– The Bismarck Larks came away with an 11-9 victory in thrilling fashion over the Thunder Bay Border Cats to improve to 28-18 on the season. An eight run second inning gave the Larks a 9-0 lead but the game was far from over.
The offense was headlined by Matt Warkentin in the second inning when he went 2-2 with a single and a grand slam to give the Larks a 9-0 lead. Eight of the nine starters recorded a hit in tonight’s slugfest and seven different Larks scored in the top of the 2nd inning.
The game started with a leadoff single by Carson Bartels and after a sacrifice bunt and a single by Jacob Nesbit, Tristen Carranza hit a sacrifice fly to give the Larks an early 1-0 lead. Bruce Bell started on the mound for the Larks and set the Border Cats down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 1st inning, so Bismarck had a lot of momentum.
After the eight run top half of the 2nd inning, Thunder Bay showed off their determination and power. They strung together two singles, two walks, and a three run home run to cut the lead down to 9-5. Bell would give up two more runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning before being replaced by Frank Greco.
After both teams scored in the 3rd inning, it was a 10-7 score and both bullpens took over from there. Greco pitched four innings and allowed two earned runs that both came in the bottom of the 5th inning which made it 10-9.
The Larks added an insurance run in the top of the 6th inning when Braden Williams hit a sacrifice fly that scored Ripken Reyes to put Bismarck up 11-9.
Matt Butler and Chris Roycroft also came out of the bullpen for the Larks and didn’t allow another run to score for the remainder of the game.
Greco earned the win on the mound and Roycroft got credit with the save as he was able to come into the game in the 9th inning and close the door on the Border Cats.
The Larks won 11-9 and are now 28-18 on the season and 3-7 in the second half. The Larks will be back in action tomorrow night when they travel to take on the Duluth Huskies. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Catch all the action on http://mixlr.com/larksbaseball/.
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.