By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Seven home runs were hit out of Brent Gould Field Tuesday, and five of them were by the Hays Larks.
After Robert Dugger blanked Hays last week to hand the Larks their first league loss of the season, he was pelted Tuesday including two first inning home runs.
The Bee Jays trimmed a 5-0 Larks lead in the bottom of the first with a long ball of their own, a deep shot from lead-off batter Alec Isaac followed by an RBI double from Brennan Johnson.
The Bee Jays didn’t score again until the bottom of the sixth while the Larks continued to punish the Bee Jay pitching staff with three more home runs and big innings.
By the third inning, Hays had a 12-2 lead.
Hays added another run to take a 13-2 lead in the fourth before Brent Cleland took the mound and slowed down the charging Larks offense. Cleland pitched five innings and only allowed two runs while striking out five.
The Bee Jays added single runs in the sixth and seventh inning, and Hays had the bases loaded in the ninth before the Bee Jays were able to record the final out.
Liberal went quietly in the bottom of the ninth for the 15-4 loss.
The loss dropped the Bee Jays to 3-7 in the first 10 games of the Jayhawk League. There are 24 league games remaining, and the Bee Jays are now looking up at a monumental task of climbing back into the Jayhawk League race with the hot start by Wellington. The Heat have yet to lose a game and have opened league play with a perfect 9-0 start, butting the Bee Jays six-and-a-half games out of first in just the first 10 games.
The Bee Jays have dropped three straight at Brent Gould Field and lost three straight for the second time this season including a three-game sweep by Derby.
After splitting with Hays last week, the Bee Jays are 0-3 against Derby, 1-2 against El Dorado, 1-2 against Hays and only hold a 1-0 advantage over Dodge City.
The Bee Jays have yet to lay league-leading Wellington, but that will change later this week. Tonight, the Bee Jays will look to even the season series with Hays.
Thursday, Dodge City will return for a single game, and then the Bee Jays will head back to the Wichita area for a three-game weekend series with Wellington.
Liberal will take three days off after that and then host Derby (June 27, 28 and 29) before heading west for a two-game set with Albuquerque.
But the road to turning around the season may begin tonight with another game with Hays. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.