Fresh off their Wild West Festival Tournament championship this past weekend, the Hays Sr. Eagles continued building momentum heading into Legion Zone play with a doubleheader sweep of Lexington, Neb., on Thursday at Larks Park.
The Eagles rolled to a four-inning 16-1 rout in the first game and then held on for a 10-8 victory in the nightcap.
"We came back out and swung the metal bats again. It's a bit of adjustment after swinging wood for a while over the weekend," Eagles coach Dustin Schumacher said. "The way we swung it today was good to see."
The Eagles notched their 30th win of the summer, moving to 30-4-1.
"I knew we had some talent and some people that could help us out, but I didn't think we would come out and play as well as we have," Eagles' infielder and pitcher Palmer Hutchison said. "We've just carried it on the whole summer."
Hays took care of Lexington in the first inning of Game 1 by putting up nine runs in the first frame. They added four more in the second and three in the third to force the run rule.
Dawson Harman led the Eagles' 16-hit attack with three hits, while Hutchison, Brady Kreutzer, Cody Petersen and Dominic Bainter each had two. Trey Riggs drew the start and tossed three scoreless innings.
Lexington put up a better fight in the second game. The Eagles led 10-5 heading into the seventh but Lexington plated three runs and had two runners in scoring position before Kreutzer induced a comebacker to the mound to end the game.
Cole Murphy, Hutchison and Kreutzer split pitching duties in the second game for the Eagles. Hutchison and Kreutzer had two hits each and Cody Petersen delivered a three-run home run.
The Eagles will have one more tune-up before the zone tournament, facing the Hays Sr. Monarchs at 6 p.m Sunday at TMP.
The Eagles will then begin Class AAA Zone play against the Great Bend Chiefs (21-11) at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Great Bend. The winner will play the Salina Falcons (26-2) at 8 p.m. The AAA state tournament will be held in Emporia.
"We'll have our hands full," Schumacher said. "Salina's really good and Great Bend's always going to be a challenge, being a rivalry for Hays. We'll have to come out with our heads screwed on straight."