LA CROSSE, WI – Safe to say the Birds of Bismarck have seen better days.
The Bismarck Larks dropped their sixth straight game Monday night. The La Crosse Loggers put the offense on display and defeated the Larks by a final score of 13-3.
Larks starter Frank Greco was coming off of his best outing as a Lark when he went seven innings and allowed just one earned run against Waterloo on July 25. Throughout the first two innings, Greco looked solid and the Loggers had nothing going offensively.
But then, the third inning happened.
The Loggers offense absolutely exploded. In total, the Loggers sent 17 batters to the plate, notched eight hits, and scored 11 runs in the frame.
The big inning started with a Jeremy Ydens grand slam to left field, making the score 5-0 after one run had already scored on a passed ball. The Loggers were just getting started.
Korey Lee drew a walk and Dashon Moore doubled him home to make it 6-0. Greco’s day was done after 2+ innings. In total, he was responsible for eight hits, seven earned runs, and three walks.
Jake Carlsen relieved Greco, but the hit parade was not over. The Loggers sent 10 hitters to the plate against Carlsen in the inning, and nearly all of them worked their way around the bases. Carlsen surrendered three hits, three walks, and a hit batter in the inning.
Once the nightmare inning finally ended, it was 11-0 La Crosse.
The Loggers added a run in the bottom of the fourth on a bases-loaded walk from Jake Hirabayashi, making the score 12-0.
Fortunately for the Larks, they had Noah Luedtke in their bullpen, and he was able to stop the bleeding.
Luedtke was fantastic in relief. He surrendered just two hits in his four innings of work. He also struck out six hitters and walked only two. Luedtke did allow one earned run, and it came on a Kennie Taylor solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
On the flip side, the Larks had to deal with Garrett Christman. Christman put together a great outing and stifled Larks hitters the whole night. He through 6.1 innings and allowed just two hits while striking out seven and only walking one.
With the game essentially out of reach, the Larks did manage to put some late runs on the board.
In the eighth, the Larks loaded the bases with one out. Newt Johnson hit a ball hard that was misplayed by the third baseman David Villar. Connor Perry came in to score on the play.
Next, Noah Sadler grounded out sharply to the second baseman Moore as Jeff Mayes scored to make it 13-2.
In the top of the ninth, the Larks added another run. Quinn Irey came around to score on a Wyatt Ulrich RBI single to right field, his third hit of the ballgame. The Larks showed some life with the late runs, but it was too little, far too late.
Brutal night for the Birds, but that’s baseball.
The loss pushes the current skid to six games. With 11 games left in the season, the Larks have to find a groove and try to end the season on a high note. After tomorrow night’s game in La Crosse, eight of the final 10 games will be back in Bismarck.
Game two versus La Crosse is set for 7:05 pm tomorrow night at Copeland Park.
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The Bismarck Larks are a member of the finest developmental league for 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, 180 former 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 portal. For more information, visit www.bismarcklarks.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Larks as your favorite team.