Michael Farnell powered the Bismarck Larks to another home victory on Friday night.
The catcher from Division I Murray State had five RBIs, including a long three-run home run as the Larks prevailed over Rochester 9-6 Northwoods League action at Bismarck Municipal Ballpark in a 3-hour and 47-minute marathon.
The Larks improved to 10-4 at home and 15-9 on the season as they hit the road for the next week, starting tonight in La Crosse, Wis.
Farnell’s three-run home run banged off the light tower in right field in the bottom of the third inning after a single by Ripken Reyes and a walk to Kyle Stevens. Farnell broke a 6-all tie with a single that traveled less than 100 feet in the bottom of the sixth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Farnell hit a twisting roller toward shortstop that eluded Honkers’ shortstop Ben Sems.
The Larks won despite committing six errors , walking seven Honker batters and not having a 1-2-3 inning while in the field.
Bismarck scored first, capitalizing on a walk and some bad Honker defense to grab a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.
Brandon Barna’s jam-job roll out to second base scored Tristen Carranza. After two errors, Matthew Warkentin laced a single into center field to score Carson Bartels.
Rochester had a golden opportunity to answer in the top of the third. With one run in and the bases loaded, Larks’ starting pitcher Carlos Lopez got Ben Sems to pound into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat and preserve the lead.
Some shaky defense by the Larks in the top of the third inning helped the Honkers close the gap. Three Bismarck errors, two walks and three singles resulted in three Rochester runs.
Tristen Hudson, the third of our Bismarck pitchers, got the win. Hudson continued his fine season out of the bullpen. The right-hander from West Virginia allowed just one unearned run on three hits over three innings. He walked one and fanned five.
Colan Borchers worked the ninth to earn the save.
The Larks piled up 11 hits. Warkentin and Reyes collected three each.
The Larks on the road for the next week, returning to Bismarck to host Eau Claire on Saturday, June 30 at 6:05 p.m.
Bennett Wiggins starts for the Larks in their series opener tonight at La Crosse, after a 590-mile bus ride. … Friday night’s attendance was 1,983. … Warkentin’s RBI was his 17th of the season, tied for fourth-most in the NWL. Larks’ shortstop Jacob Nesbit left the game in the bottom of the third. Nesbit was injured diving back into first base on a pickoff attempt. … Cole Quintanilla, the Honkers’ 6-foot-5 starting pitcher, redshirted this past season at the University of Texas. Quintanilla missed his senior year of high school due to Tommy John surgery (elbow). … Rochester relief pitcher Kevin West hit 94 mph on the radar gun. … The Larks hold a 4-2 head-to-head advantage over the Honkers.