Bismarck Larks pitcher Carson Selin is a starting pitcher for his NCAA Division III Bethel University baseball team.
He was a reliever on Thursday as he pitched the Larks to a 7-6 Northwoods League win over Thunder Bay in the first game of a two-game series at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark.
Bismarck scored the tying and go-ahead runs in the sixth inning on a wild pitch and Selin shut the door on the Border Cats.
“It was a little tough coming in with runners on the bases and facing this caliber of competition,” Selin said. “It’s fun to be able to challenge myself against these types of hitters.”
Selin worked five innings, allowing one earned run and striking out three. The only run he allowed in the sixth was the result of two passed balls that put the runner in scoring position to score on flyout to center.
“Oh man. Talk about a first outing,” Larks coach Sean Repay said. “He’s another small-school guy but he comes from a strong program.”
Repay didn’t flinch when Selin took the mound with a lead and 62 pitches on his arm.
“He’s a starter in school,” Repay said. “He was a bullpen arm his first two years then he started the year as a closer and they converted him to starter. He’s in good shape.”
Selin made a mistake in the ninth that JQ Folena doubled off the left-field wall. But Selin benefitted by acrobatic play by second-baseman Michael Pereznegron to end the game.
Bismarck took the lead for good in the sixth when Pereznegron scored on a wild pitch by Jesse Bogacz, and Noah Sandler raced home when the throw from Austin Ledin got away from Bogacz.
“I saw Noah putting his head down around third and I just said go, and he went,” Repay said.
Thunder Bay didn’t really hit Larks starter Andy Lalonde hard in the first inning, just hard enough to take a 2-0 lead.
With one out, Josh Norlin drew a walk and went to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Jared McCunn blooped a double to right to score Norlin. Olena did him one better, dropping a bloop to right directly onto the first baseline, scoring McCunn.
Bismarck tied it 2-2 in the second. Quinn Irey was hit by a pitch and scored on Cullen Smith’s triple to left-center. Smith scored on Trever Leingang’s flare to right.
Bismarck took the lead in the third. Pereznegron singled to lead off and came around on Irey’s single. Michael Pierzchalski, who had singled, scored on Smith’s second hit of the game to make it 4-2.
Lalonde worked into the fifth but was lifted for Selin after giving up four hits and two earned runs. He struck out six and walked two.
Thunder Bay scored three times in the fifth to go up 5-4. The first two batters Selin faced scored, one on Folena’s sacrifice fly and one on a groundout.
Then it was all Selin from there.
The Larks pounded out 12 hits, a season high, to improve to 2-1. Pereznegron, Pierzchalski, Irey, Smith and Wytt Ulrich had two hits apiece. Irey and Pierzchalski scored twice each.
Bogacz took the loss for the Border Cats. He struck out two and walked three.
Folena was 3-for-4 with two RBIs for Thunder Bay, which dropped to 0-3.
The Larks close out their four-game homestand tonight in the final game of the series with the Border Cats.