By NICK McQUEEN
The Hays Larks turned a hot start into a Jayhawk League win Friday night in the first of a three-game set with the Derby Twins at Larks Park.
Hays scored six runs through two innings (five in the first) and defeated the Twins 9-3 behind seven solid innings from left-hander Chandler Hawkins.
The game was called with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning when rain and lightning moved into the area.
The win pushed the Larks to 28-10 overall and 20-9 in league play. Derby fell to 15-19, 12-18.
In the five-run first inning, the Larks started with three straight hits, capped by Aaron Cornell's two-RBI double, then Taylor Petersen had an RBI double and Zair Koeiman had an RBI triple. The final run in the inning came on an RBI double by Blair Beck. Hays scored a run in the second, then had two in the fifth on a two-run home run for Clayton Garland, his fourth of the season.
Hawkins pitched seven innings and scattered seven hits with seven strikeouts. He gave up a run in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk.
The other two runs came in the seventh on an RBI groundout and base hit. Hawkins improved to 5-2. Ian Bentley recorded two outs in the eight before the game was called.
The two teams meet again Saturday in the second game, part of Pack the Park Pink Night at Larks Park. Game time is 7 p.m. For more on Friday's game, see Sunday's Hays Daily News.