DODGE CITY — The Hays Larks battled in back-to-back one-run ballgames against Dodge City, though the Jayhawk League’s June champions came up on the wrong end of a 5-4 walk-off result in the 10th inning Thursday.
D.J. Carr gave up a single and hit an A’s batter to bring up Ben Mauseth with one out in the 10th. Carr fell behind after two balls and gave up a single the next pitch, resulting in the first series loss of the season for Hays (20-4).
The Larks came from behind in the eighth Wednesday to earn a one-run victory and fend off Dodge City for a berth to the NBC World Series.
The A’s struck first yet again, tagging Cole Hendrix for three runs and four hits in the second inning. The hosts found three singles, the third coming with one out to get on the board first. Garrett Giovanelli came up with a two-out single to score a pair of runners for an early 3-0 edge.
Dodge City made it a 4-0 lead with a single by Mauseth in the third.
Austin O’Brien, Devlin Granberg and Jacob Boston each reached base safely to start the fourth.
Boston’s first-pitch single scored O’Brien to cut into the deficit. The Larks scored two more runs on a single by Mikey Gangwish and a double by Redington, though offensive interference calls against Boston and Andy Shadid led to two outs and limited the damage.
Hendrix left the game in the fourth after giving up three earned runs and six hits in three innings. He made way for Nate Olinger, who pitched a perfect fourth.
Olinger was removed for Layne Downing, who allowed a double, single and walk to load the bases with in the fifth. A ground out led to a run-saving double play before an inning-ending strikeout.
Hays tied the game at four on a RBI double by Connor Ross in the seventh. The lone runner in the final three innings came on a walk by O’Brien.
Granberg, Waller and Redington each finished with two hits.
The Larks return to action at El Dorado on Saturday.