By The Hays Daily News
The Hays Larks made an early statement in Jayhawk League play.
Improving their record to 6-2 on the year and 3-1 in Jayhawk play, the Larks completed a series sweep of the defending league champion Haysville Heat with a 7-4 victory to cap the series Sunday.
Andy Lewton pitched five innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits in picking up the victory and Michael Burchett came on in the ninth for the save as Hays won its fourth consecutive game in front of approximately 1,000 fans on hand for "Military Appreciation Night" at Larks Park.
The Larks broke a 2-2 tie in the second inning second inning as Jon Ryan led off with a solo home run and Sloan Soulia scored on a wild pitch. Hays then tacked on three more in the fifth to spread the gap and the pitching staff did the rest. In three innings of relief, Matt Schmit allowed a solo homer in the eighth before Burchett closed the door.
MacKenzie Handel, the Larks' leader in the early going, finished 3-for-3 and reached base four times, scoring two runs. Cam Brown and Ryan each drove in two. Handel's game pushed his early-season average to .542 in seven games started. He now has scored a team-high 11 runs and drove in a team-high 14.
Haysville dropped to 4-5 overall and 2-4 in league play.
Hays hits the road Tuesday and Wednesday for action at the Liberal Bee Jays, before returning home for one game at Larks Park this week, a Thursday game with the Topeka Giants.