The Hays Larks saw a big rally fall short on Saturday against the Denver Cougars, falling 12-9 at Larks Park in their second game of the season.

The Cougars took a 9-2 lead with six runs in the top of the sixth but the Larks answered with a five-run fifth to get back within striking distance.

Hays (1-1) then tied it up in the eighth on a two-run home run from George Sutherland, but the Cougars plated three in the top of the ninth before holding the Larks scoreless to seal it.

Skylar Luna and Jarrod Belbin each had three hits for the Larks, who were hurt by five errors. Stater Ryan Ruder went 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned), notching 11 strikeouts.

Rustin Hays took the loss for the Larks, giving up three runs (one earned) in the ninth.