With one game left in the first half, the Bismarck Larks are tied for first.
Another fast start powered the Larks to a 12-2 eight-inning victory over St. Cloud at Municipal Ballpark. Meanwhile, in Duluth, Minn., Rochester knocked off the Huskies 5-4. Heading into the final day of the first half of the season on Tuesday night, the Larks and Duluth have identical 24-11 records. The winning team clinches a home game in the Northwoods League playoffs in August.
Monday night’s game was called after eight innings due to the heavy rain that swept through after 10 p.m.
The Larks blitzed the Rox on Monday night with a trio of three-run innings and 15 hits total.
Wyatt Ulrich, in his second season with the Larks, hit his first career home run in the bottom of the seventh inning -- a two-run shot – to make it 12-2. Ulrich, hitting ninth in the order for the Larks, went 4-for-5 in the game with three runs and a pair of RBI.
Bismarck wasted little time jumping out front.
Already up 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, Chase Coker doubled home Ripken Reyes and Tristen Carranza.
Run-scoring singles by Cristian Montes, Michael Farnell and Carranza doubled the Larks lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the second inning.
All the early run support was plenty for pitcher Danny Kuhn, who turned in another stellar performance on the mound. The right-hander from St. John’s fired eight strong innings, allowing just two runs on eight hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Seven Larks had hits and six had more than one.
Carranza, hitting in the clean-up hole, finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Coker went 2-for-4 and drove in three, while Montes and Farnell added a pair of knocks.
The Larks and Rox play again tonight with first pitch set for 7:35 p.m.