BISMARCK — The Bismarck Larks clearly did not want Tristan Peterson to beat them on Thursday. Larks pitchers walked the burly slugger three times and hit him with a pitch, making it clear that they’d rather face Honkers cleanup hitter Ryan Wrobleski.
Wrobleski made them pay dearly.
The catcher from Eden Prairie had four hits, including a double and a two-run homer, and piled up five RBIs as the Honkers scored in each of the first five innings and rolled to a 14-4 victory over the Larks. Rochester won the four-game series 3-1 and scored 28 runs in the last three games.
Wrobleski now is tied for the Northwoods League lead with four homers, and his 16 RBIs is just one shy of the league leader.
Leadoff batter Evan Berkey continues to pound the ball for the Honkers. He picked up two more hits and two RBIs on Thursday and is hitting .318.
The Honkers had runners aboard all night, as they had 13 hits, 14 walks and twice got hit by pitches.
Benefiting from all that offense was Honkers starting pitcher Landon Anderson, a sophomore from Cal State Fullerton who tossed five innings to get his first win of the season. He gave up four runs, all earned, before giving way to a Honkers bullpen that has been among the league’s best. Marty Tolson Jr. gave up just one hit over three innings, lowering his ERA to 1.54, and Casey Nimmo tossed a scoreless ninth.
The Honkers (11-7) are now in second place in the Great Plains West division, just one game behind Willmar.
Rochester hosts St. Cloud on Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Honkers 14, LARKS 4
Rochester 212 610 110 — 14 13 2
Bismarck 002 020 000 — 4 7 2
Rochester: Berkey 2-for-6, R, 2 RBI; Simmons 1-for-6, 2 R; Tristan Peterson 1-for-2, 2 R, 2B, RBI; Wrobleski 4-for-5, 2 R, HR, 2B, 5 RBI; Trace Peterson 2-for-5, R; Schmitt 2 R, RBI; Borden 1-for-2, 2 R, RBI; Daini 2-for-5, R, 2 RBI; George 1 R. Pitchers: Anderson (WP) 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K; Tolson Jr. 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K; Nimmo 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB.
Bismarck: McBride 1-for-4, R; Ulrich 1-for-3, R; J. Rogers 1-for-4, 2 RBI; Chernow 1-for-4; Mendham 1-for-4; Bowman 1-for-2, 2 R. Pitchers: Gorman (LP) 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K; Mitchell 2/3 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 1 K; Herring 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K; Sidwell 1/3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB; Difillipo 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER.