Bismarck, N.D. – The Rochester Honkers (10-16 Second Half, 26-35 Overall) lost to the Bismarck Larks (12-16, 28-35) by a score of 6-3 Friday night at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark. The Honkers loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth inning, but could not complete the comeback. Morgan McCullough (Oregon) led the Honkers with two hits, a run, and an RBI.
The Larks struck first with two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Luke Horanski (Virginia Tech) doubled to left, which scored Noah Sadler (Illinois State) from first base. Horanski scored two batters later after a Rochester error.
The Honkers took the lead with three runs over the fourth and fifth innings. Ryan Fitzpatrick (UC Irvine) put the Honkers on the board with a single to left field, scoring Morgan McCullough (Oregon). Hatten and McCullough collected back-to-back RBI hits with one out in the fifth inning, giving the Honkers a 3-2 lead.
Bismarck tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning on a RBI single by Ryan Anderson (UC Davis) and took the lead in the sixth inning on a double to right field by Collin Einertson (Depauw).
Scooter Bynum (Northern Illinois) brought in two insurance runs for the Larks in the bottom of the eighth inning on a two-run single to center field.
The Honkers loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the ninth inning on two walks and a single, but a fly out ended the comeback attempt.
Tyler Steele (Vanguard) pitched the final 4.1 innings of the game to earn the win (4-3) for the Larks. He gave up one hit while striking out four batters and walking one.
Spencer Johnson (Wayne State) took the loss (2-2) for the Honkers. He pitched 2.1 innings, giving up two runs on four hits.
The Honkers continue the series against the Larks tomorrow, August 5. First pitch from Bismarck Municipal Ballpark is 6:05 p.m. Drew Slade (Ripon) is scheduled to pitch for the Honkers. Slade is 4-2 this season with 31 strikeouts in 54.0 innings. Connor McNallan (Bemidji State) is scheduled to pitch for the Larks. McNallan has pitched 0.1 innings in one game.
The next home game for the Flock will be a doubleheader on Monday, August 7, against the Thunder Bay Border Cats. It will be One Hit Wonder Night with Minnesota 97.5 FM. If the Honkers hold Thunder Bay to one hit in the game, then someone will win $10,000. First pitch of game one starts at 6:05 p.m. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Game two will begin 30 minutes after the completion of game one.