It’s an old baseball saying: Walks will hunt. So will hit batsmen … and errors.
The Bismarck Larks will be haunted for a long time after a plethora of mistakes on Monday in a 15-9 Northwoods League drubbing by the St. Cloud Rox.
The Rox pounded out a season-high 16 hits against five Bismarck pitchers, who between them walked 11 batters and hit two more. Seven of those scored.
Even the only real highlight of the game for the Larks was bittersweet. First-baseman Austin Paschke hit a grand slam in the eighth inning in what was his last at-bat for the Larks. He is leaving the team, and leaving the Larks without their biggest bat.
Daniel Schneemann was 4-for-4 with a walk, a double, two runs and four RBIs for the Rox. Shane Selman had two doubles, walked twice and scored three runs and Brad Mathiowetz had two hits and two RBIs. Every Rox player but Brendan Illies had a hit and he walked three times.
Four of the Larks’ runners reaching by walk or by being hit by pitch scored. And Mitch Gallagher’s hit by pitch in the eighth plated a run.
One night after walking nine batters in a 7-6 win, Larks pitchers issued nine more free passes. The Rox also scored on passed balls in the six-run eighth while handing the Larks their sixth loss in nine games.
The marathon game ran 3 hours and 47 minutes.
St. Cloud starter and winning pitcher Robbie Palkert had a no-hitter through four innings before Ryan Anderson’s flare to right fell in between defenders for a single.
Palkert got the win after pitching five innings of one-hit ball. He walked three and struck out five.
But there wasn’t a lot of relief in the Rox relief corps.
Anthony DeMeglio relieved Palkert and struggled right away. He hit Noah Sadler – who left the game and was replaced by Phillip Jacobon – and walked two batters. Two runs then scored on Newt Johnson’s two-out double over third base and two more on Ryan Anderson’s two-run triple making it 8-4 in the sixth. But that was the only offense generated by the Larks until the five-run eighth.
Bismarck pitchers struggled from the outset. Starter David Manasek surpassed the league-mandated 35-pitch count in the first inning. He gave up a hit, walked four and struck out two, leaving with the Larks in a 2-0 hole after a 32-minute top half of the first inning.
Ryan Byrd came on in the second and fared no better. He gave up seven hits and six runs while walking three in four innings.
Ryan Anderson’s diving catch in right field to end the inning kept even more runs from scoring. Anderson was 3-for-5 for the Larks
The Larks now hit the road for two games at Duluth and four games at Thunder Bay before the three-day all-star break. They play two games at Rochester before returning home for six games in five days starting on July 22.