Dalyn Schwarz adjusting well to varsity baseball

Rick Peterson Jr.
Hays Daily News
Dalyn Schwarz sends a pitch over the left field fence for a 2-run home run on Thursday against Great Bend.
Dalyn Schwarz rounds the bases after hitting a home run on Thursday against Great Bend at Hays High.
Carson Spray brings a pitch to the plate.

Dalyn Schwarz picked an appropriate time to deliver his first high school home run. 

With Hays High locked at 1 with Great Bend, Schwarz sent a two-strike pitch over the left field wall for a two-run homer in the fourth inning on Thursday at Hays High. 

Schwarz's homer and Carson Spray's complete game on the mound helped the Indians take a 4-1 win over their rival. 

Schwarz said it was his second home run ever, with the other one coming when he was in middle school. 

"I had two strikes on me and honestly was just trying to put something in play," Schwarz said of Thursday's homer. "He kind of left one over the plate. Off the bat, I didn't think I got it good enough to get it out, especially with the wind. Got around first and then heard everybody say, 'It's out.'

"Pretty nice. It was a good feeling, you know."

Schwarz's shot had plenty of distance. The only question was whether it would stay fair. 

"I think that ball started in center field and finished just barely fair down the left field line, the way the wind was blowing today," Hays High coach Dustin Dreher said. "I knew it had a chance, and he got it well."

Schwarz, the Western Athletic Conference player of the year in basketball this past season, has been a nice addition to the Indian baseball team. 

This year marks his first year of varsity baseball, missing out on a year of development because of the cancelation of last year's season. 

"It's definitely an adjustment," said Schwarz, a 6-foot-6 senior first baseman. "You got a lot more pressure on varsity as opposed to your JV squad. I enjoy playing with all our guys. It makes it easy with our coaches."

Dreher said he's been pleased with Schwarz's progression, noting that Schwarz has already delivered some clutch hits. 

"For a kid that hasn't seen live pitching for a while, he actually came out swinging it pretty well," Dreher said. "So I felt comfortable putting him in the varsity lineup, and he's doing a great job."

Schwarz is looking to end a standout athletic career for Hays High on a high note with the HHS baseball team. 

"That's the No. 1 goal this year, to end on a good season," Schwarz said. "Our goal is to get to state and we're working toward that."

Garrett Wellbrock drove in Hays High's first run with an RBI single in the first. Schwarz  brought in the final run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. 

Spray allowed one unearned run on five hits while striking out five and not surrendering a walk. 

"He threw really well," Dreher said. "He was attacking the zone, getting ahead of hitters. ... Just did a great job of competing around the zone. I think he finished at 106 pitches. I told the guys after, if we make a few plays, I think he finishes with a complete seven-inning game with 70 or 80 pitches. Those errors kind of run up the pitch total sometimes.

"I think twice a teammate would make an error, and the very next batter or two, (Spray) would come right back and get that guy another play, and they would make it for him. That's a great competitive effort right there by a sophomore."

Dalton Dale went 3-for-3 at the plate while Wellbrock and Dylan Dreiling each had two hits. 

The Indians, who moved to 6-2 on the season, were set to play at Olathe Heritage Christian Academy on Saturday. 

"I think we're swinging it well, seeing the ball well offensively," Dreher said. "Our pitchers are attacking the zone, really competing and making teams have to beat us. 

"We've been struggling a little about defensively, making routine plays. That's stuff we can clean up in practice."