HAYS – The Hays Larks raced out to a 6-0 lead then held off a ninth inning rally by Liberal to beat the Bee Jays 6-5 in the opening game of their key four-game KCLB series at Larks Park Friday night.
Matt Cavanagh doubled home George Southerland to give the Larks a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Southerland and Jerrod Belbin added RBI singles and inning later to make it 3-0.
Wyatt Divis bases loaded double in the eighth doubled the lead to 6-0.
Following a line drive out to start the top of the ninth, the Baa Jays strung together three straight singles with a walk to score their first run of the game. Following a groundout, another single and a double scored four to cut the lead to one but Tommy Garcia came in to get the final out and secure the win.
Rustin Hays went 8 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and four walks for the win.
The Larks are now 19-4 overall and 6-2 in the KCLB Jayhawk West Division where they hold a game lead over the Bee Jays. Game two of the four-game series is set for Saturday at 7 p.m. and can be heard on KAYS (94,3-FM, 1400-AM)