It took seven games for a Bismarck Larks starting pitcher to finally get a decision, and when they did on Monday, it fittingly was Ryan Byrd getting a win.
The Larks lefty survived pitched six innings of four-hit ball and the bullpen pitched three innings of two-hit relief to beat La Crosse 9-3 at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark.
“It felt good. The bats came alive today,” Byrd said. “They just kept on getting runs after I gave up two runs. It’s pretty easy to pitch when the offense scoring runs.”
Bismarck banged out 12 singles to snap a three-game losing streak.
Larks manager Sean Repay wasn’t concerned by the lack of extra-base hits. “I’ll take a 9-3 win with 12 singles,” he said. “We’re moving guys over and guys are stealing bags. That’s typical Larks baseball.”
Repay moved centerfielder David Salguiero from near the top of the order to ninth and he responded with three hits, two runs scored and two runs batted in.
No. 7 hitter Trever Leingang had two hits and drove in to runs and No. 8 hitter Michael Pereznegron had two hits and scored twice.
Byrd threw seven innings and struck out 10 in the team’s debut last week, but he didn’t get a decision in a 2-1 Larks win. This time, he survived some shoddy fielding behind him. He struck out seven and walked one.
The Larks made three errors, but the Loggers made four and finished with just six hits.
Taylor Sanagorski had a homer and double for La Crosse and Joe LaCivita added two hits.
JC Bonilla pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up a run and Connor Hilburn pitched the last 1 2/3, giving up just one hit and striking out two.
Repay praised Byrd’s in-game adjustments.
“He was leaving the ball up a little bit early,” Repay said. “We talked some sense into him in the dugout. He was just missing some spots. He came out a different pitcher after the third.”
The Larks staked Byrd to a 1-0 lead in the second. Noah Sadler singled and went to second on groundout and to third on Cullen Smith’s single. He then scored on Leingang’s groundout.
The Larks then committed three errors in the third that allowed the Loggers to tie the game.
Nick Schrank singled and went to second when New Johnson dropped a throw from Byrd at first on a bunt play. With two out, Ryan Mantle hit a gounder to third that Smith misplayed, allowing Schrank to score.
Bismarck got the lead back in the third but left the bases loaded. Salguiero led off with a single and stole second. He scored on Newt Johnson’s first hit with the Larks, a single to center, to make it 2-1.
That lasted only until Sanagorski came back to the plate and belted a solo homer to left.
Bismarck gave Byrd a cushion again in the fourth with three runs and this time it stood up.
Bismarck added three runs in the eighth of La Crosse reliever Jason Seever.
The teams play the last game of the two-game series tonight.