By The Hays Daily News
As with every non-league season opener, Hays Larks manager Frank Leo used Saturday's doubleheader at Larks Park as an opportunity to see what arms Hays has before the team begins Jayhawk League play.
The Larks threw seven different pitchers and put on an offensive show in a 14-5, 8-0 sweep of the Colorado Sox to open the season at Larks Park.
With more players expected to arrive today, the series finale with the Sox at 6 p.m. at Larks Park still will be about seeing what the Larks have.
The Larks had plenty of offense Saturday in front of a large crowd.
After falling down 3-2 in the third inning of Saturday's Game 1, Hays (2-0) exploded with seven runs in the fourth inning, batted around with six hits, and never looked back. They followed that up with home runs in the fifth, one by Clayton Garland, the other by Mackenzie Handel, a returner from the 2012 Jayhawk League championship team that finished third in the NBC World Series.
Of the Larks' 15 hits, six went for extra bases, and third-year Lark Elvin Rodriguez added a solo homer in the sixth to put the finishing touches on the opening win. Hays cranked out 14 runs on 15 hits, but did commit three errors.
Garland, who just wrapped up his junior season at Fort Hays State University, finished with three RBI on three hits with two runs scored in the leadoff spot, while returning Lark Zair Koeiman was 2 for 2 with three runs scored and two driven in.
Taylor Peterson, a junior out of the University of North Dakota, had three hits in his Larks debut. Five Larks had at least two hits.
Then in the nightcap, Koeiman's one-out grand slam in the first inning got things going as Hays took a 6-0 lead. Koeiman's homer was one of nine hits in the nightcap. Handel was the only Lark to record two hits.
Dalton Viner, Chandler Hawkins, Nick Goza (the only returning pitcher), and David Owen all pitched in the first game, while Brandon Anderson, Ian Bentley and Logan DeRosier saw action in the nightcap. The staff combined for 14 strikeouts in the sweep, gave up seven hits and walked five.
Leo said he expects to throw multiple arms again when the teams close the series today, but will be in more rotation when the Larks travel to Liberal on Monday to open the Jayhawk League portion of their schedule.
In other Jayhawk League action Saturday, Wellington, formerly Haysville, moved to 2-0 with a 7-1 win against the Denver Cougars.
El Dorado's doubleheader with Owasso (Okla.) was called off due to wet field conditions.