Over the last 15 or so years, the Hays Larks have shown an ability to pull out home wins in their final at bat. What has become affectionately known as “Larks Magic” has helped the club to eight Jayhawk League titles and four runner-up finishes since 2001, but has also been noticeably absent from this year’s team. That changed Tuesday night when Derek Birginske scored from second on a throwing error with two outs in the bottom of the ninth lifting the Larks to a 6-5 win over Liberal. The win snaps the Larks two-game losing streak and improves them to 17-11 overall and 13-11 in the Jayhawk League. Liberal, who had won five of six, drops to 16-14 and 10-14 in the Jayhawk League.
Frank Leo Postgame Interview
Derek Birginske Postgame Interview
Birginske hit a two-out double to right center then scored when a ground ball to third off the bat of Ziar Koeiman was overthrown to first. Birginske finished 3-for-4 with two home runs, three RBIs and three runs scored. His solo shot in the fourth put the Larks on the board after they fell behind 4-0. His two-run blast an inning later capped a four-run fifth which gave them a 5-4 lead. Aaron Cornell hit an RBI double and Tyler Leffler added a run scoring triple in the inning.
Birginske also picks up the win after allowing an unearned runs on two hits over the final three innings of relief. The Larks were one 0ut away from the win when the Bee Jays got a two-out single from Brady Cox, who moved to second when center fielder Nate Olinger bobbled the ball. Cox scored on Zach Hoffman’s single to tie the game 5-5.
The two teams close out the two-game series as well as the season series Wednesday night at 7pm. Admission is free courtesy of Commerce Bank, Commercial Builders, Whiskey Creek Wood Fire Grill and Big D’s.
Elsewhere in the Jayhawk League Tuesday… Derby beat El Dorado 9-2 while Wellington lost 13-7 to Valley Center in a non-league game… The Heat have a 5 1/2 game lead atop the Jayhawk League over Derby. The Larks sit 7 1/2 back… The Larks will play three games at Wellington Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.