WICHITA — The Hays Larks dropped a 5-4 decision to the Great Bend Bat Cats on Sunday at Eck Stadium, finishing pool play 1-1 in the first of the week National Baseball Congress World Series.
The Larks will have to await the result of Monday’s 1 p.m. game between Great Bend and the Waco Mission to see if Hays will advance to bracket play for the first week of the NBC.
The Larks (33-11) would advance with a Great Bend win on Monday. Tiebreakers would come into play with a Waco win. Hays beat Waco 4-0 in their Series opener.
Great Bend’s Chase Gibson broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth with a two-out double.
Jarrod Belbin led off the bottom of the ninth with a triple for the Larks and was brought home on a sacrifice fly from Griffin Everitt. But the next two Larks’ batters were retired to end the game.
Drew Marrufo took the loss for the Larks. Starter Rustin Hays went four innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
Great Bend scored two runs in the top of the third before Hays grabbed the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth after a bases-loaded three-run double from Belbin. Great Bend tied it at 3 in the fifth on a double from Dawson Pomeroy.
The Larks outhit the Bat Cats 10-7. Belbin went 3 for 4 at the plate with two doubles and a triple.