HAYSVILLE — After a week where the Hays Larks stumbled to four losses in five games, a balanced offense led to a 10-1 win over the Haysville Aviators on Wednesday night.
Cleanup hitter Evan Gruener got the offense going in the second inning with a nine-pitch at-bat that ended in a walk. Gruener followed up with a steal of second and advanced to third on a Derek Dickerson single. Garrett McKinzie hit a two-RBI double to score both runners and put Hays ahead 2-0.
RJ Williams cranked a solo homer to leadoff the third inning for Hays. After a second walk by Gruener loaded the bases, Derrick Mount scored on a Brooks Balisterri sacrifice fly to extend the Larks’ lead to 4-0.
Hays received a solid outing from starter Derek Birginske, who allowed one run on seven hits and five walks, including five strikeouts in 5.2 innings. In relief, Brandon Bell pitched 1.1 innings of no-hit ball with one strikeout and walk. Allen Beer came on for the Larks’ final two innings, tossing three strikeouts without allowing a baserunner.
The Larks piled on six runs in the eighth, capped off by a two-out, three-run shot by Jake Campbell to make the score 10-1. Hays finished the game with 13 hits, with eight of the nine starters logging a hit, four walks and one defensive error.
The win moves Hays within one game of .500, improving to 5-6, 2-4 in Jayhawk League play. Hays remains two games out of first place in the North division as they look to win the series’ rubber match tonight in Haysville.