By The Hays Daily News
EL DORADO -- The Hays Larks had a 4-0 lead and looked well on their way to an 8-0 start when things went sour for Hays starter Justin Ziegler and reliever Austin Cox.
The result was an 11-5 loss to the El Dorado Broncos, Hays' first of the young season.
After throwing eight strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings (seven shutout), Ziegler had a 4-1 lead with two outs in the eighth inning.
Helped, though, by eight hits, a Lark error, three walks, and a hit batter, the Broncos rallied with 10 runs. El Dorado scored all 11 of its runs in the inning off both Ziegler (6 earned runs) and Cox (4 earned runs).
The loss dropped Hays to 7-1 on the year and 4-1 in league play as it hosts Liberal in back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday at Larks Park. Game time is 7 p.m. both nights.
Ziegler (1-1) took the loss.
Austin Darby had a solid offensive night, going 3 for 5 with a run scored and three driven in. Mackenzie Handel and Joe Betcher also recorded two hits each. Darby had a solo home run in the third inning, his first of the season. He now has a team-leading eight RBIs.
El Dorado moved to 7-3 on the year and 3-3 in league play.
Tuesday's game sponsors are Commerce Bank and First Care Clinic.
Hays now has a string of nine straight home games. After Liberal, Hays hosts Haysville in three games this weekend, followed by back-to-back nights with both Dodge City and Colorado next week. One of those outings with Colorado is a doubleheader.