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Five Larks named to Jayhawk first team

Published on -8/27/2012, 9:44 AM

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By The Hays Daily News

Five Hays Larks have been named to the all-Jayhawk League first team, joined by two more on the second team.

The Larks, the 2012 Jayhawk League Champions, also produced the Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year in the league.

Austin Darby, a first-team outfielder, was named Player of the Year, while starting pitcher Justin Ziegler was named the league's top pitcher. Also on the first team were first baseman Ryan Busboom, second baseman Zair Koeiman, and relief pitcher Blake Johnston.

Darby, the Larks' top hitter this season, finished the year with a .393 average. He drove in a team-best 47 runs and led the squad with 17 doubles. He also was tied for second with seven home runs on the year.

Ziegler finished the year with a 6-2 record, posting a 2.17 earned-run average in 11 apperances (66.1 innings). Ziegler led the club in innings pitched, strikeouts (55), and surrendered just 10 walks. He also pitched two complete games.

Busboom batted .305 for Hays with 32 RBIs, 14 doubles and seven homers. Only Koeiman (.305 with nine homers) produced more home runs this season, Koeiman also drove in 34 runs, playing in all but one game for Hays this summer.

Johnston made 13 appearances for the Larks, finishing 4-0 with just three starts. He struck out 23 in 29 innings with 16 walks.

On the second team were third baseman Joe Betcher and starting pitcher Joey Begel. Betcher hit .253 with 22 RBIs and nine doubles, while Begel finished 4-2 with a 2.08 ERA, two complete games and one shutout. He threw 56.1 innings with 34 strikeouts to 18 walks.

The Larks finished third in the 2012 NBC World Series in Wichita, along with claiming their first league championship since 2008 with a 23-11 league record.

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