Given a chance at a do-over, Rochester Honkers pitcher Drew Slade made the most of his opportunity on Sunday.
Slade’s start on Saturday was washed out in a game completed on Sunday and won by the Honkers 12-1. Nevertheless, Slade would not have gotten a decision as he threw more than the league-mandated 35 pitches in the first inning.
But on Sunday, Slade (5-2) went five innings to lead the Honkers to a 7-3 win over the Larks and a sweep of their Northwoods League doubleheader at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark.
Slade gave up three runs in the first inning, then allowed just one hit over the next four innings as the Honkers pulled away thanks to a four-run third inning.
Jacob Green and Garrett Cobb pitched the last two innings of the seven-inning game.
“You just have to come out and take it like a regular start,” Slade said. “You just have to flush what happened yesterday and come out with the same mentality.”
Frank Greco (2-5) started the second game for the Larks and was gone after three innings. He allowed five hits and five runs, including one on a hit-batter with the bases loaded.
Joe Spradlin went three innings and gave up two runs.
The Larks managed just three hits, including Luke Horanski’s three-run homer in the first that gave the Larks a 3-1 lead.
“Anytime you play a doubleheader you have to stay focused all day,” Horanski said. “We’re trying to be positive right now but we’re in a rough stretch. The big thing we’re missing now is getting the pieces to click together.”
In the opener on Saturday night, the Larks staked Connor McNallan to a 1-0 lead in his home debut when Wyatt Ulrich reached on a fielder’s choice, went to second on Scooter Bynum’s walk and scored on Ryan Anderson’s single to center.
Then the rains came and after a one-hour delay the game was suspended until Sunday afternoon. Slade sat the first game and came back out to start the second.
McNallan came back out in the opener and took a 1-0 lead into the fifth inning when the Honkers tied it. Tom Imholte reached on an error and stole second. He scored on Morgan McCullough’s double.
Everything fell apart for the Larks in the sixth thanks in part to five bases on balls, three of which drove in runs.
McNallan went five innings, gave up three hits and struck out four. Jake Johnson (0-1) took the loss for Larks. He did not record an out, walked three and gave up a hit leading to four runs.
Ryan Fitzptrick and Michael Michalak homered for the Honkers, helping Michael Stryffeler (1-4) to the win. Stryffeler struck out 11 of the 14 Bismarck batters fanned by Honkers pitchers.