The Hays Larks won in walkoff fashion on Thursday night against Dodge City, but the biggest hit of the night occurred four innings earlier courtesy of Easton Kirk.
The Larks walked off when Wyatt Divis scored from third on a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom ninth to give Hays a 6-5 win at Larks Park.
But they might not have been in that position if it wasn't for Kirk, who turned a two-run deficit into a two-run lead in the bottom of the fifth with a grand slam to right field.
"I was trying to get ahead in the count, get a pitch in so I could get one to the outfield and at least get one run in," said Kirk, a catcher/designated hitter from Wallace Community College in Alabama. "I happened to just elevate one and get it out of the park.
"It feels good. I've hit two (grand slams) this year. I haven't really hit that many in my life before this summer, but it feels good to hit them."
The Larks trailed 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth before Daryl Myers and Divis notched back-to-back singles and Jared Martin was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs for Kirk.
"We had the right guy up at the right time," Larks manager Frank Leo said. "Easton's really been hot for us. He's been barreling the ball."
Kirk's blast put the Larks up 5-3, but Dodge City knotted it up with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh.
Divis led off a tie game in the bottom of the ninth with a double down the first-base line. Kirk was intentionally walked with one out and Clayton Rasbeary drew a walk to load the bases.
Matt Munoz then came on to pinch hit, and Dodge City reliever Brock Knoten thew a wild pitch to allow Divis to score as the Larks improved to 13-4 overall and 7-3 in the Jayhawk League.
"We've been playing really good late in the games when it's a close game," Kirk said. "We've got guys that want to be at the plate late in the game with runners in scoring position. That's always a good thing to have on your team."
That Larks overcame a rough outing from starter Nick Skeffington, who lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits with four walks. Mason Myhre gave the Larks 4.2 strong innings out of the bullpen, giving up three runs and two hits with four walks and five strikeouts.
Fabian Muniz earned the win for the Larks. He didn't allow an earned run in three innings, giving up two hits, both infield singles, while striking out five.
"We fought hard in that ball game," Leo said. "It would have been a shame to let a game like that slip. I thought we had great pitching out of the bullpen. Myhre did a great job of keeping us in that game after a slow start by Skeffington. Myhre took us deep into that game and Fabian did a great job."
Divis went 3 for 4 at the plate with a walk and two runs scored for the Larks, who bounced back from Wednesday's 5-3 loss at Dodge City.
Hays will open a three-game series at Derby at 7 p.m. on Friday.
"It's going to be a big series in Derby. That's a good ball club," Leo said. "This will give us a little bit of a better feeling now. Game's got to start all over (Friday night). We've got to be ready to play. I think we need to get that energy back.
"This win tonight, even though it wasn't in dramatic, big-hit fashion, it was a walk-off win."