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Golfer cards ace in Ellis -7/23/2014, 9:57 AM

Fisher hopes bigger is better -7/23/2014, 9:47 AM

Royals grab win in Chicago -7/23/2014, 10:42 AM

Overachievers set tone for KSU football -7/23/2014, 10:42 AM

Chiefs have had discussions with Charles -7/23/2014, 10:44 AM

Hays Eagles headed back to state -7/23/2014, 10:43 AM

Tuesday's Larks game called off -7/22/2014, 4:49 PM

K-18 state bracket, July 25 to 29 -7/22/2014, 10:46 AM

Royals' offense silenced again in loss to Chicago -7/22/2014, 10:25 AM

Monarchs' season comes to an end -7/22/2014, 10:19 AM

Larks win sixth straight -7/22/2014, 10:24 AM

No bold predictions from Charlie Weis at Big 12 Media Days -7/22/2014, 10:19 AM

Eagles rally for Zone win -7/22/2014, 10:25 AM

'One true champion' gets a workout in Big 12 -7/22/2014, 10:09 AM

K-State clarifies Klein's role -7/22/2014, 10:26 AM

Browns rookie Manziel leads in jerseys sold -7/22/2014, 10:09 AM

Royals get swept in Boston -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

McIlroy claims Open title -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

Monarchs fall to Larned in Zone tourney -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

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Royals fall to Red Sox -7/20/2014, 9:44 AM

Plainville's Krob tops 11-under field -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

Goodland's Ihrig wins Match Play crown -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

Monarchs, Russell in Larned Zone -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

Alex Smith hopes future is with Kansas City Chiefs -7/20/2014, 6:44 PM

Butler wants to stay in K.C. -7/20/2014, 6:44 PM

Larks beat Twins, alone in second place -7/18/2014, 9:31 AM

Alex Gordon's obsession with preparation has made him a star -7/18/2014, 10:24 AM

Cavs will consider trade -7/18/2014, 10:24 AM

Shockers' summer networking -7/18/2014, 2:37 PM

FHSU wrestling adds seven to 2014-15 recruiting class -7/18/2014, 10:15 AM

WaKeeney’s Riedel crowned free throw champion -7/17/2014, 11:12 AM

Fitness. Strength. Pride. -7/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Weekend series looms large for Larks -7/17/2014, 7:55 PM

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Tuesday

Prep basketball

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Hawkins pitches Larks to NBC win

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Hawkins pitches Larks to NBC win

Published on -8/4/2013, 8:09 AM

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By AUSTIN COLBERT
acolbert@dailynews.net

WICHITA — Hays Larks manager Frank Leo wasn’t about to let the night end without talking about his ace pitcher, left-hander Chandler Hawkins, on Saturday.

“Chandler was the man tonight. He put us on his back,” Leo said. “Our offense wasn’t doing anything. He knew he had to keep throwing up zeros. Outstanding job.”

Hawkins threw 8.1 innings, giving up four hits and recording six strikeouts in the Larks’ 1-0 win against the Casa Grande (Ariz.) Cotton Kings in their first game of the National Baseball Congress World Series Championship Week at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

Despite a shaky first inning, Hawkins settled in and was nearly perfect until reliever David Owen closed out the final two batters to send the Larks on in the winners' bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

Hays (24-10) will face the Hutchinson Monarchs at 4 p.m.today.

“First game sets the momentum,” Hawkins said. “I was just happy that the coaches put the first game in my hands and I did the best I could with it.”

Hawkins (6-2) needed to play his best because Casa Grande pitcher Brandon Fauklner was equally effective. He struck out eight Larks in six innings of work.

Neither team got a runner beyond first base until a double by Hays left fielder Clayton Garland in the fourth inning. A wild pitch allowed Garland to take third base, but Fauklner struck out the next two Larks to end the threat.

“You’ve got to force action,” Leo said. “This tournament’s key about not striking out with men in scoring position.”

The Larks had another good chance to score in the fifth when Ty Gilmore was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with two outs. Hays wasn’t able to take advantage when the inning ended after Aaron Cornell’s fly ball.

The teams were scoreless into the seventh, when Trey Higginbotham replaced Fauklner on the mound for Casa Grande after a leadoff walk to the Larks' Spencer Neve.

Jake Placzek’s bunt moved Neve to second base, but Gilmore struck out for the second out of the inning.

But Cornell was able to redeem himself for leaving them loaded earlier, getting a single to move Neve to third. The throw by Casa Grande shortstop Ashton McCoy to first ended up near the Larks’ dugout, allowing Neve to walk in for the score.

Leading 1-0 going into the bottom of the ninth, Hays made things interesting. The first Casa Grande batter of the inning was hit by a pitch, when what looked like a routine out turned into an error by Cornell in center field, giving Casa Grande runners at second and third with only one out.

Enter Owen, who finished off the final two batters to preserve the win, his sixth save of the summer.

“Last year we lost that opener 2-1 and had to fight back through the loser’s bracket,” Leo said. “This gets the monkey off the back, so to speak. We can take a deep breath but we don’t have much recovery time. We are back at it tomorrow.”
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