(Rochester, Minn.) – The Bismarck Larks were able to hold off the resilient Rochester Honkers in a back-and-forth game 9-6 on Friday at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark. The Larks improve to 15-9 on the season as the Honkers fall to 13-11.
Rochester was able to collect eight walks and 11 hits. Michael Michalak (Illinois) led the way with three hits for Honkers, Matt Hardy (UC Riverside) and Alex Baeza (Hawaii) added two hits apiece. Jaylon McLaughlin (Nevada) went 2-for-5 and walked to extend his on-base streak to 21 games.
Honkers starting pitcher Cole Quintanilla (Texas) tossed three innings and surrendered five runs on four hits, just three of the runs were earned. Kevin West (UC Riverside) made his first appearance with the Honkers and did not allow a base runner and struck out one in one inning of work. Ryan Dorney (St Martin’s) worked four innings and gave up three runs on seven hits and got tagged with his first loss of the season.
Brandon Barna (Alcorn State) got the Larks on the board in the second as he grounded out to drive in the game’s first run. Matthew Warkentin (Xavier) gave Bismarck a 2-0 lead as he singled to bring home a run later in the inning.
The Honkers fought back in the third as Hardy singled to drive in his first run of the year. Bismarck came right back as Michael Farnell (Murray State) slugged a three-run home run to put the Larks up 5-1.
Rochester came back to put up three runs in the fourth, Casey Dunlap (Point Loma Nazarene) sparked the rally with a RBI single to center. Baeza came around to score on one of the six Larks errors. Michalak singled to bring home a run and put the Honkers within one run of Bismarck.
The Larks got a run back in the fifth as Carson Bartels grounded into a double play to put the Larks up 6-4.
Hardy cut the deficit to one in the sixth as he singled home a run. Benjamin Sems (Kansas) tied the game at six as he drove a sacrifice fly later in the inning.
The Larks got the lead back in the sixth as Farnell ripped a two RBI single up the middle to put Bismarck up 8-6. Farnell finished the game with two hits and five RBIs.
Bismarck got an insurance run in the ninth as Cristian Montes (California) came around to score on a throwing error after a single by Ripken Reyes (California)
Bismarck relief pitcher Tristen Hudson (West Virginia) posted his second win of the season after tossing three innings and giving up one unearned run.
The Honkers are off to Eau Claire to play the Express on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. Drew Slade (Ripon) is scheduled to pitch for the Honkers, he is looking to improve his 1-2 record. Slade will be up against Jake Harrison (UT-San Antonio) from Eau Claire, Harrison has a 0-2 record and a 4.20 ERA. The Honkers return to Mayo Field on Sunday to take on the Express at 1:05 p.m.
The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in 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 former 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 portal. For more information, visit www.rochesterhonkers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Honkers as your favorite team.