The Bismarck Larks filled their first half in franchise history with many first, but one that escaped them was a playoff berth. But hope is not lost, three spots remain. Here’s how the Larks can get into the postseason.
The Northwoods League season is split in two halves.There are two ways teams make the postseason. The first: is to win either half of the season. In the first half, Bismarck finished in the middle of the pack with a record of 16-19.
“I think for a first year team to finish in fifth place,” Field Manager Sean Repay said, “kind of even keel right there. I think it was a stepping stone for us.”
The Northwoods League treats the second half like a new season. Every team starts clean and competes to claim the second half title. Coach Repay feels this system fits his team well.
“I’m excited about the format it works in our favor,” Repay said. “We also didn’t have our full roster until about the back end of the first half.”
If the Larks do not win the second half the season, there’s still one more path to the postseason. The final two spots are given to teams with the best combined record from each half.
“At the end of this last first half,” Tyler Steele said, “we had some good hitting, but pitching kind of lacked. Hopefully, we can put them both together and just cruise through the second half.”
Right now, the team’s combined record is 18-23. Coach Repay has a rough estimate of how many wins his guys need to make the playoffs in their first year.
“Probably around 35 wins,” Repay said. “We’ve got to win 20-plus in this half and we have the ability to. We’re right there. We’re right there in the bulk of everybody else.”
Winning twenty games, means the team won 56 percent of their games in the second half. By comparison, the team won 46 percent of the games in the first half.
The advantage of winning either half is you get to host a first round playoff game.