Larks roll through the weekend

BY CAYDEN SANDERS
PHOTOS BY JESSALYN KIRCHHOFF AND CAYDEN SANDERS

The high-powered Larks’ offense showed up to their series finale on Friday against the Colorado Roughriders to the tune of a 7-inning-run-rule. Even though the Roughriders got on the board first in the game, the Larks’ offense outscored the Roughriders 12-2. The game was also the Larks’ annual “First Responders Night” celebrating the sacrifices the emergency services make for the Hays community. 

Kam Walton, the starter for the Hays Larks, gave up one run on two hits within the first three innings of the game as the Roughriders got a man into scoring position and then hit in the runner with an RBI single. Walton felt that as a starting pitcher, you always have to minimize the errors on the mound to keep the other team off the bases and the scoreboard. 

“As a pitcher, you always have to trust the guys behind you, and even though we had an error while I was on the mound I know I can trust my guys.” Walton said, “ I have always been taught that at the end of the inning if you gave up just ones and zeros on the board then you had a good outing and that is all we are looking for.” 

The Larks’ offense had multiple contributors to the scoring affair, scoring three runs in the second inning to take the lead from the Roughriders. In the fourth inning, the Larks continued the hitting party as they scored two more. The Roughriders scored one more in the fifth inning as Chris Echavarria, and Brady Rose closed out the rest of the game for the Roughriders. 

The Larks’ offense continued to score in the fifth as they scored three in the inning and scored two runs each in the sixth and the seventh to win another game at Larks Park. 

The Hays Larks finished their five-day, five-game stretch against league foe Denver over the weekend. With the Larks coming off another convincing win over the Colorado Roughriders, Hays added two more wins to their season total 10-0 and 12-1. 

In game one of the series with the Cougars, the Larks pitchers had a field day combining for a no-hitter as a staff. Fort Hays pitcher Hunter Parker got the start for the Larks, as he pitched for three innings. The Larks’ offense put up three runs in the first and another three runs off multiple hits and errors given by the Cougars. In the sixth inning, the Larks earned two more runs and in the seventh inning, the Larks’ offense walked off the game with an RBI single to win 10-0. 

“It is always great to win, but our bats have been hot as of late, and being a part of a team like this has been fun,” Larks Cather Brady Evans said, 

In the second game of the series, the Larks and Cougars spent the game celebrating Fathers Day and Stand Up to Cancer Day. Both teams wrote a name of a person in their lives who has had cancer or has been fighting the disease. At the end of the fifth inning, the Cougars and Larks stood around the home plate with their signs with the affected people’s names. One person who reacted emotionally to the event was the Denver Cougars Pitching Coach, Mark Laschanzky. 

“My brother-in-law was the person written on the piece of paper; he has been battling cancer for four years now. He has been undergoing treatments in Omaha while caring for four kids.” Laschanzky said, “Unfortunately, we all know someone who this thing has touched called cancer, and with my wife meaning the world to me, her family is my family, and, unfortunately, he is going through this.” 

In the first inning of the game, the Cougars scored first with an RBI single to get on the board first, but it wasn’t long until the Larks got on the board and take the lead. The Larks scored four in the first inning, but it came at a cost as a local high school product as Palmer Hutchinson took a baseball to the knee; Hutchinson left the game after the first inning. 

The Larks’ bats stayed quiet until the fourth inning when the Larks scored five runs. The Larks’ offense did end the game before the end of the sixth by scoring two runs to end the game. 

The Hays Larks are back in action on Tuesday at Larks Park to take on the Kansas Cannons for a single non-league game. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. 


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