By NICK McQUEEN
Thirteen different players came to the plate in Thursday's non-league doubleheader for the Hays Larks.
Not that uncommon for a Hays Larks team hoping to get a tune-up before a key weekend series in Jayhawk League action.
Didn't matter which lineup was in Thursday -- the result was the same.
Hays had 19 hits in a sweep of the visiting Colorado Sox at Larks Park, winning 6-3, and 7-4.
The two teams will play a seven-inning game tonight at 7 at Larks Park, before Hays hosts defending NBC Champion Liberal on Saturday and Sunday.
"They're tough, particularly before a big series with Liberal this weekend," Hays manager Frank Leo said. "We have to get some guys some work, particularly the pitchers -- and get all of our position guys tuned up."
Hays (12-5) had little trouble in the opener, scoring its six runs through the first four innings, helping right-hander Hunter Herdt win his first decision as a Lark. Herdt pitched five innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits, before Michael Burchett and Justin Ziegler finished.
Cam Brown had a two-run home run in the first inning. Six Larks collected hits.
"You saw the kind of mixed up lineups tonight," Leo said. "We're getting comfortable with what all of these guys are going to be able to do for us. I like our depth. We finally have some depth this summer where if a guy needs a day off, we feel good about who we put in behind him."
Thursday's sweep was used to get some pitchers some work as well. Leo threw five pitchers in the doubleheader, just wanting to get some work in, especially with the loss of No. 2 starter Jorge Guarneros, who is likely done for the season after suffering an elbow injury.
Guarneros, a hard-throwing right-hander, was 1-0 with a 1.50 earned-run-average in three appearances.
"Our pitching has good depth, but losing Guarneros is going to hurt," Leo said. "That was a pretty good arm, so we'll have to step up a little bit."
Connor Beer made the start in Thursday's second game, but struggled and left with a 4-3 deficit. Beer walked five, gave up four runs (all earned) before Nick Goza came on in the fifth. Goza (3-0) got the win as the Larks came alive in the fifth. Colorado reliever Ben Lahn walked a pair of Larks with two outs. Aaron Cornell -- the Larks' leading hitter -- drove in the tying run, Elvin Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch, and Cody Gougler had a two-run single as the Larks plated four runs to take the lead for good.
MacKenzie Handel finished Game 2 with three hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Cornell was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Larks catcher Rick Stover, making his Larks Park debut, gunned down two runners at second base, one trying to get back to the bag. ... Saturday is "Poker Run" night at Larks Park. The HOG chapter will be driving the Larks onto the field on the back of Harleys, and fans on hand will have the opportunity to purchase poker hands for a chance at cash prizes. ... Saturday morning is the McKids' Day game at Dusty Glassman Ball Park, and McDonald's provides hamburgers and drinks for the participants, who must be pre-registered with the Hays Recreation Commission. Sunday at the Larks game, the participants will go onto the field with the Larks for the national anthem.