The Hays Larks used a seven-run seventh inning to overcome an early deficit and win their ninth straight, 11-5, against the Bethany (Okla.) Bulls on Sunday at Larks Park.
Hays (15-1, 11-1) saw the Bulls score four run in the third, but multiple runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth were enough to sweep their third straight Jayhawk League foe and take a three-game lead.
Ben Cilano allowed four earned off seven hits through just two innings. The first five batters of the third reached base, leading to four runs. Manager Frank Leo pulled Cilano for Sam Reed, who recorded three straight outs to escape the jam.
The Larks were sent down in order in the second, third and fourth innings, though they couldn’t get the offense going until the sixth.
Connor Ross and Josh Minjarez strung together singles. Devlin Granberg grounded out, though Ross was able to score from third. Mike Mioduszewski hit a two-strike RBI double to make for a two-run sixth.
Shane Browning picked up a pair of strikeouts in a perfect seventh before the Larks’ offense exploded in the bottom half.
Andy Shadid picked up a walk on a 3-2 count and made his way to third on an error off a sacrifice bunt by Mikey Gangwish, who advaced to second. A single by Austin O’Brien and sacrifice bunt by Connor Ross tied the game.
Minjarez’s second pitch of his next at-bat cleared the fence for a two-run go-ahead home run. An RBI single by Nate Olingers and two-RBI double by Shadid capped the seven-run inning, giving Hays a 9-4 lead.
O’Brien added a run on a throwing error trying to catch Ross stealing, though Ross eventually scored of Minjarez’s fly out.
Bethany added one run in the ninth, though Minjarez’s two-hit, three-RBI performance was too much for the Bulls.
Mioduszewski, who leads the Larks in batting average, hits, extra-base hits and RBI, finished 4-for-5. Ross finished with a pair of hits while Shadid collected a pair of RBI. The Larks’ bullpen allowed just three hits in seven innings of work.
Hays is off today before heading to Wellington for a three-game set beginning Tuesday.
Hays Larks 11, Bethany Bulls 5
Bethany 004 000 001 — 5 10 2
Hays 000 002 72x — 11 12 3
Ambriz, McDonald (7), Settles (7), Knoten (8) and Logan; Cilano, Reed (3), Browning (6), Van Leeuwen (8), Downing (9) and Gangwish. W — Browning (1-0). L — McDonald. 2B — Mioduszewski 2, Shadid, Hays. HR — Minjarez, Hays.