By RANDY GONZALES
The Hays Larks have lost three home games so far this season due to rain.
It rained again Tuesday night, but it wasn't enough to call off the Jayhawk League game with Dodge City.
Perhaps it should have rained a little harder, if you're a Larks' fan. Hays fell behind early and lost 11-4 to Dodge City at Larks Park, snapping the Larks' four-game winning streak.
"It hasn't been an adjustment for us," Hays manager Frank Leo said of the rainy weather. "It's been bad for our fans coming out to see good good baseball, which we didn't give them tonight."
Larks starter Levi Schlick experienced control problems in giving up six runs in four innings. Schlick (1-1) gave up five hits, with five walks and seven strikeouts.
The left-hander entered the game with a 9.00 earned-run average, allowing six earned runs in six innings, with seven walks.
"That's been his M.O.," Leo said. "He hasn't been able to get through that first inning, give us five quality innings. ... His ball-strike count wasn't good; he needs to improve on that."
While Schlick struggled, Dodge City starter Tim Keller had little trouble with a short-handed Larks' lineup. Keller worked eight solid innings, allowing three runs on four hits, with four walks and seven strikeouts.
"That guy's got a pretty good arm, I knew that," Leo said. "I saw his numbers this spring. You going to to beat an arm like that, you got to stay close."
Dodge City (10-3 overall, 4-3 Jayhawk) scored four runs in the first off Schlick. Hays got a run back in the home half when Brandon Eckerle led off with a single and eventually scored on a passed ball. The Larks cut the deficit in half in the second, getting a run on a sacrifice fly from Zak Leonhardt.
Dodge City added single runs in the third and fourth to make it 6-2. The A's got a pair of two-run homers in the fifth against reliever Riley Welch to make it 10-2.
Hays (7-3, 5-3) loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but Keller struck out Cam Brown to end the threat.
"He's a very good pitcher," Leo said. "Not only does he have velocity, he has a very good breaking pitch; his slider is tough.
"We just get way behind too early. You can't do that against a quality arm like that," he added.
Dodge City added a run in the seventh against Kyle Peterson to make it 11-2.
Keller gave up an unearned run in the eighth and reliever Andrew Wild allowed a run in the ninth.
Hays was without three regulars in the lineup. Infielder Rob Elliott re-injured his wrist, which he originallyhurt in the spring with Bradley University. Shortstop Elvin Rodriguez injured his shoulder swinging a bat in the El Dorado series.
Infielder-pitcher Larry Rodriguez, who originally hurt his groin during the junior college world series, has tweaked it again and is available only to pitch.
Leo said Elliott could be out long-term, while he hopes to have Elvin Rodriguez in the lineup for the weekend series against Liberal at Larks Park.
"Just going to have to fight through, figure out a way to win without them, and not lose ground, what we gained this weekend," Leo said.
Hays will be at Dodge City tonight at 7 for a single game, then the Larks return to Larks Park for a six-game homestand which starts Thursday with a 6 p.m. non-conference doubleheader with the Colorado Sox.
Left-hander Vincent Littleman is the probable starter for Hays tonight, making his Larks' debut.