The Hays Sr. Eagles legion baseball team put the pressure on Hoisington immediately in Thursday's Wild West Festival Tournament opener, erupting for six runs in the first inning en route to a 13-5 victory at Larks Park.
Hays (22-3-1) notched five hits and batted around in the bottom of the first to set the tone. Hoisington briefly crept back into the game with a five-run fourth, but Hays answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and would force the run rule in the sixth.
"Six runs the first inning, that's big, especially since they put up a crooked number there in the fourth inning," Eagles coach Dustin Schumacher said. "It was big to come out and do that, and I was happy with how we responded in the bottom half of the (fourth), scored a couple runs to put the pressure back on them."
The Eagles loaded the bases in the bottom of the first after Brady Kreutzer led off with a single, Willie Sennett was hit by a pitch and Palmer Hutchison drew a walk. Trey Riggs then came through with a two-run single. Two batters later, Jamison Martin doubled to center to drive in three runs.
"We talk about being aggressive on pitches in the zone and hunting fast balls," Schumacher said. "They do a good job of doing that."
Hoisington, aided by a couple Hays errors, fought back to cut the lead to 7-5 in the top of the fourth before Hays answered with two runs.
A Hoisington balk brought in Trey Riggs from third base and Cody Peterson scored on a double steal to push the lead back to four.
"Whatever momentum they did build that inning, we completely shut it down and took it back," Schumacher said.
The Eagles added three more runs in the fifth and tacked on another in sixth to end it.
Kreutzer drew the start and went a season-high five innings, allowing five runs (two earned) on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
"He hasn't thrown that much all year, as far as extending that far out," Schumacher said. "That was big for him to come out and do that. We're saving pitching by doing that. He had a really good outing. I was really happy with what I saw out of him."
Kreutzer and Trey Riggs each had three hits for the Eagles, who will play their other pool play game against Northern Colorado 18 at 6 p.m. today at Larks Park.
The Hays Sr. Monarchs will open the tournament today, facing Northern Colorado 17 at 10 a.m. and Buhler at 2 p.m. at Larks Park.
The Hays Jr. Eagles lost their tournament debut Thursday, falling 4-3 to Russell.