Larks Rally Falls Short in Liberal
The Hays Larks couldn’t overcome an early six-run deficit and fall to first-place Liberal 7-5 Wednesday night at Brent Gould Field in Liberal. The BeeJays struck early, scoring three in the first then added single runs in the second, third and fourth to build a 6-0 lead.
The Larks plated two in the fifth on an RBI single from Elvin Rodriguez and a run-scoring double from Zair Koeiman, then cut the lead in half on Nolan Johnson’s RBI single in the sixth.
Liberal added an insurance run in the seventh when they stole home to go up 7-3.
The Larks would get two more in the eighth on a Rodriguez RBI single and a Liberal error, but they left two on when Koeiman lined out and Jon Ryan struck out to end the inning.
Hays went down in order in the ninth as they drop their second straight and go 1-4 on the road trip.
Starter Patrick Flanagan (1-1) takes the loss, allowing five runs, three earned on seven hits over 2 1/3 innings. Koeiman had three hits and Rodriguez drove in two.
The Larks remain in fourth place in the Jayhawk League, two-games back of the BeeJays. They are off today before hosting El Dorado in a key three-game weekend series starting Friday. The Broncos are in third place, 1 1/2 games back after an 11-2 loss to Derby Wednesday.
NOTES: Shortstop and relief pitcher Claudio Valencia will be leaving the team because of a wrist injury… Valencia was hitting .286 with 3 doubles and 10 RBIs in 14 games. He was also 1-0 without allowing an earned run in three relief appearances on the mound… The start times for Friday and Saturday night’s games have have been pushed back an hour due to the heat… Both will now start at 8 o’clock… Sunday’s game will still start at 7pm… Saturday night is the annual Larkstoberfest/Old Timer’s game with activities now set to start at 5:30pm… Authentic German food including bierocks, noodles and beans and kugan will be available… a tent with tables will be set up… All former Larks players are invited to attend and check in by 7:30pm so you can be introduced prior to the start of the game.