BY CAYDEN SANDERS
PHOTOS BY JESSALYN KIRCHHOFF
After a one-game road trip against the Kansas Cannons, the Larks returned home this past weekend to begin a home-stand to finish the regular season. The Larks welcomed the Fort Collins Foxes to Larks Park for a three-game series.
In game one, the Larks blew by the Foxes 10-4. To start the scoring, the Larks’ shortstop Austin Jaslove drove in left fielder Dylan Drieling with an RBI single.
By the end of the second inning, the Larks lead the Foxes 3-0. Larks’ first baseman Garett Gruel hit an RBI single to left field to drive in Drieling. In the top of the fifth, Brandon Jordan of the Foxes hit a solo home run to cut the Larks’ lead to 4-1. The Larks answered the Foxes as Jaslove hit a two-run RBI double to go back up 6-1 in the bottom of the sixth.
In the seventh inning for the Larks, Palmer Hutchinson drove in another two runs off an RBI double, pushing the lead to 8-1. In The same inning, Gruell hit a two-run RBI double. The Foxes did have a late rally, but it was not enough to get past the Larks.
In the second game of the series, the Larks won 20-3 in seven innings. The Foxes did score a run in the top of the first, but it was all Larks from there as the Larks scored four in the first, two in the third and also scored two in the fifth. In the sixth inning, the Larks broke the game open, scoring 12 runs with two outs. The Larks brought in Cade Hare to finish the job.
In the series finale, the Larks won 10-0 in seven innings. In the fourth inning, the Larks scored first as Cade Brown hit a home run. The Larks led the Foxes 2-0 after the fourth inning. In the fourth inning, Drieling hit a line drive home run into the right field. Dreiling rang up his ninth home run on the season. In the bottom of the sixth, the Larks lead the Foxes 5-0. In the bottom of the seventh inning the Larks tacked on another five runs as Brown hits a three-run home run.
This was Browns’ first multi-home run game as a Lark.
To finish the game, the Larks catcher Brady Evans hit a walk-off single as the fly ball dropped into shallow right field, bringing Jaslove home.
“For us as a team to play together, we just hang out with each other, not only at the field but after games, going out to eat with each other and stuff like that,” Drieling said. “We get to hang out more outside baseball than we do here. So I think that helps a lot and just having each other’s backs on the field. I think that helps with the winning part of it a lot, too.”
That wasn’t the only celebration happening at Larks’ park on Saturday night, as Larks head coach Frank Leo and his wife Barb celebrated their golden anniversary – making it 50 years in their marriage. The Larks asked fans to bring cards to the couple to celebrate their marriage and other festivities.
Frank Leo commented on the accomplishments he and his wife have had being together while marrying the game of baseball.
“She puts up with a lot of baseball and loves the game too. Out of the 50 anniversaries, we probably had maybe 30 of them right here at Larks Park, some of them on the road, but you know she’s a baseball person who I love her for that,” Leo said. “Fifty years, it’s hard to believe that time goes by that fast. They’ve gone quick, but it’s been a great journey for both of us.”
Leo also advised about what marriage is like after 50 years.
“You got to have some give and take. You got to understand that they have feelings just like you do. And treat them the way you want to be treated. It’s a two-way street. It’s not going to last. So it’s been an incredible journey,” he said.
With the series concluding Saturday night, the Larks have some players that might be drafted in this year’s MLB draft. One of them being Hays’ own Dreiling. With everyone watching and scouting where Dreiling may land, the dream of getting called up for the show is inching ever so close to Dreiling.
“I’m feeling good just can’t control what happens with the draft. So I’m just trying to come out here and perform every day and just don’t chips fall where they fall,” Dreiling said.
The MLB draft started Sunday night; the draft will continue till Tuesday. As of the seventh round, Dreiling has not been selected.
The Larks are in a two-game series against the Colorado Tribe. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:30 tonight.
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