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Tigers travel to face Lopers -10/31/2014, 11:10 AM

Tiger women's soccer rallies for win at UNK -10/31/2014, 10:05 AM

Closing stretch will be crowded at the top for Big 12 -10/31/2014, 11:07 AM

Hays High heads for Wamego -10/31/2014, 11:08 AM

Norton runs by TMP, now 9-0 -10/31/2014, 11:09 AM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 30 -10/31/2014, 10:05 AM

Area high school football scores, Oct. 30 -10/30/2014, 9:26 PM

MVP Bumgarner steps up -10/30/2014, 10:43 AM

District up in the air for HHS -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Area prep football district standings, scenarios -10/30/2014, 2:28 PM

A look at the area's state volleyball qualifiers in 1A Division I & II -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Dream season ends for K.C. -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

TMP turns it around, headed to state -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

Tiger volleyball falls to UNK -10/29/2014, 3:28 PM

Monarchs rally for regional win -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

One win away for K.C. -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Kansas State No. 9 in first football playoff rankings -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Hays High soccer sees season end -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Tigers look to finish strong -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

1989 WSU baseball champs reunite -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

KC's Yost still confident -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Romo hurt as Redskins upend Cowboys in OT -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Big second half leads to HHS win -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

CFB notes: TCU and WVU ready to take center stage -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Royals down, not out -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Earnhardt wins at Martinsville -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Romo showing smarts, backbone as Redskins visit -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Chiefs defense hammers Rams -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Tiger men draw, women win Sunday -10/27/2014, 10:48 AM

Hays High rallies for district win -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Tigers fall to No. 10 Bearcats -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

XC roundup -- Hays High boys, girls qualify -10/26/2014, 10:57 AM

Friday's area prep football roundup -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

K-State shuts out Texas -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Volleyball roundup -- TMP headed to state -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

HHS, TMP begin regional play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Phillipsburg remains unbeaten in district play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Hays High volleyball sees season end -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Russell nabs second win, beats Monarchs -10/26/2014, 1:00 AM

Area prep FB scores, Oct. 24 -10/24/2014, 10:45 PM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
Larks win rain-shortened game, fill time

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Larks win rain-shortened game, fill time

Published on -7/26/2013, 9:54 AM

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By NICK McQUEEN

nmcqueen@dailynews.net

When the National Baseball Congress World Series announced a change in the format for this year's season finale, Hays Larks manager Frank Leo knew it would be a challenge for any team good enough to qualify automatically for Championship Week.

While Hays won its second straight Jayhawk League title this week and eighth overall, the Larks and Leo now are left with a week-plus to fill before they begin play at Wichita's Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.

It seemed Thursday as if even Mother Nature wanted to give Hays some downtime.

Rain shortened Hays' 4-0 win against the Dodge City A's at Larks Park to five innings in an anti-climactic ending to what Leo called a tense final run to the Jayhawk League title.

Chandler Hawkins (5-2), the likely starter for Hays' first game either Aug. 2 or 3, pitched all five innings Thursday. He gave up a single in the first, but retired the order the rest of the way. He struck out seven with no walks.

"We got done what we needed to do," Leo said. "The guys got some reps in. Hawkins was the big key.

"We needed to get him at least five innings," Leo added. "He'll go in the (NBC opener), and that's nine days away."

Hawkins got help from the Larks' offense in the third inning. Desmond Roberts, who had been out of town for a wedding, returned and led off the third with a single. Spencer Neve followed suit, then Jake Placzek recorded a two-RBI double to put Hays (31-11 overall, 23-10 Jayhawk) on the board. Placzek scored on an error to put Hays up 3-0 after three. Then, in the fourth, Zair Koeiman hit a towering solo home run to left to set the final margin. Dodge City ended its season at 15-26, 8-26 in league play. The Larks swept the eight-game season series.

Hawkins, who lowered his earned-run average to 2.43 and has a team-high 63 strikeouts, could be a frontrunner for Jayhawk League Pitcher of the Year.

"His last several outings, he's pitching with a lot of confidence in every one of his pitches," Leo said. "He's going to be our go-to guy. We'll run him out there in Game 1, and hopefully hang around in that thing long enough to get something started."

Hays clinched the title with a win at Dodge City on Wednesday, coupled with a loss by the second-place Wellington Heat. That came after Hays had a stranglehold on the league the entire season only to have to fight to the finish in a summer where injuries were more abundant than most years.

"Recruiting never stopped," said Leo. "We had to go big-time recruiting May 1 when we lost six or seven guys, but the guys just kept battling.

"They believed in the Larks' history, and the history and pride of the Larks, and they wanted the title," he added. "And, they fought for it."

The reward for the title is a berth in the final 16 at the new NBC, but Leo had to scramble and worry about how to keep his club focused in the off time. The Larks are scheduled to head to Colorado on Saturday to take on the Colorado Sox, another Championship Week qualifier. The Larks will play two games with the Sox, then return for a Tuesday game with alumni.

"When I saw that new format, this was the biggest fear," Leo said. "We're not going to play not to win the Jayhawk League.

"That gives you nine days off,"  Leo added. "It's going to be a challnege for every coach in this position. How do you keep your guys sharp, keep them focused?"

The Larks also will use the time to get healthy and possibly make some roster moves. First baseman Cody Daily is done for the season with a meniscus tear. Third-year Lark MacKenzie Handel also will leave the team at the conclusion of the regular season due to personal reasons.

Hays already added Graylon Brown as a right-handed pitcher. Brown was the closer this season for the Derby Twins.

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