BY CAYDEN SANDERS
The Hays Larks returned home after two road victories in Dodge City for a single non-league home game on Wednesday against the Junction City Brigade. Hays knocked off the Brigade in what was their only home game of the week, 4-1.
Both teams struggled offensively, with neither squad earning a run until the 6th inning. The Brigade broke the scoring drought with an RBI single; however, the Larks answered with two runs in the seventh inning to take the lead. Larks manager Frank Leo was also ejected from the game after arguing a call with the first-base umpire.
Lark signee Garrett Gruell hit a two-run home run to extend the lead for the Larks 4-1 going into the top of the ninth. Pitcher Coby Grimsley entered in the ninth inning for two outs before the Netherlands-born right-handed pitcher, Luuk Ter Beek got his final call from pitching coach Keith Harper. Ter Beek recorded the final out of the game on a fly ball to shortstop Austin Jaslove.
Ter Beek was a member of the Larks last summer as well, but injuries suffered from a car accident cut his season short. He said he was looking forward to playing a full year with Hays, but due to personal reasons, he will be returning home for the remainder of the summer.
“I was a Lark last year but then I had some issues and then this season I got to be a part of half the season before dealing with a family matter back home,” Ter Beek said. “But this will not be my last moment at Larks Park.”
Ter Beek ended his 2022 season with the Larks with a save.
Ter Beek plans to attend Fort Hays State in the fall. He will be a transfer student from Mid America Christian University in Oklahoma City.
“I know that tonight was my last night this season as a Lark but that doesn’t mean I won’t be back in Hays. I still have a year of eligibility left in my college career and I want to come back to Hays to spend my final year here,” Ter Beek said. “If I don’t get the opportunity to come play for Fort Hays, I will definitely be back next summer for more Larks baseball.”
The Larks are back on the road for a five-game road trip against non-league opponent the Boulder Collegians, and league matchups against the Fort Collin Foxes, Colorado Roughriders, Colorado Spring Outlaws, and the Dodge City A’s.
The Larks will be back in town July 8-10 for another Rocky Mountain league showdown against the Colorado Springs Outlaws. First pitch is set for 7 pm July 8 and on July 9 the Larks will be hosting “Larkstoberfest” celebrating the Volga German heritage in the Hays and surrounding communities.