The Hays Larks scored six runs before Park City recorded its first out and continued to cruise past the Rangers on Thursday night at Larks Park.
The Larks notched a 15-5 run-rule win in seven innings, extending their win streak to nine games and moving to 10-1 overall and 9-0 in Kansas Collegiate League Baseball play.
Hays’ six-run first inning included a three-run double from George Sutherland and a two-run home run from Jarrod Belbin.
The Larks added two more runs in the third, a run in the fifth and three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to force the run rule.
“We’re kind of relentless,” Larks manager Frank Leo said. “Our at-bats are really good. They take pitchers deep in the count. They’re not afraid to hit with two strikes. They hit in the clutch. One through nine, it’s not an easy lineup to get through. There’s not an easy out in that lineup.”
The Larks finished with 10 hits and drew nine walks. Drake Angeron, Justin Lee and Max McGuire had two hits apiece for Hays.
“We’re a club that’s going to make good contact,” Leo said. “We’re about line drives, hitting the ball in the gap and using our team speed. And we’ve got a great defense out there. If pitchers throw strikes, we’re going to make plays.”
Larks stater Mason Myhre struggled with his command, allowing five runs, four hits and seven walks. But Myhre still lasted five-plus innings to earn the win.
“He’s disappointed (in the outing), but he’s kind of a bulldog out there,” Leo said. “He threw 120 pitches. He had to eat some innings up for us. He got a W out of it.”
Hernan Yanez, normally the Larks catcher, came on relief of Myhre in the fifth inning and also tossed a scoreless sixth.
“The pitching staff is very thin; there’s no way to get around that,” Leo said. “Michael Wong is hurt, we’re going to lose him, and Drew Marrufo hasn’t pitched in 10 days; he’s got an oblique (injury). And we were short a couple arms before the season started.
“We threw Yanez out there. He’s pitched before and looks pretty smooth. We’re going to have rely on some position guys that have pitched before to eat up some innings here and there. On the pitching staff, we don’t have the depth, but we do have some good quality.”
The Larks will continue the four-game series with Park City at 7 p.m. tonight.