By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
Base-running miscues and giving up two-out hits led to the Bee Jays first loss of the season Tuesday at Brent Gould Field to the Hays Larks, 15-8.
Two Bee Jays were picked off second base and a third was thrown out at third trying to stretch from first to third on a single.
While the Bee Jays were running themselves out of innings, the Larks took advantage of a Bee Jay fielding error to take an early 4-0 lead.
Will Alvis struggled in his second start of the season giving up two walks and two singles in the first inning. Alvis did strike out a Lark which should have ended the inning with only two runs for Hays, but catcher Mike McCarthy dropped the ball and attempted a throw to first baseman Blake Bergeron. The throw was above Bergeron's head, and Bergeron was starting directly into the sun. The ball skipped off Bergeron's glove and sailed into right field which allowed to runs to score with two outs.
In the second inning, and again with two outs, Hays was able to hit a double and get a walk before another double scored both runs to give the Larks a 6-0 lead.
Liberal put two runs on the board in the third, but could have had more. McCarthy led off with a double before Renny Weber was hit by a pitch.
But McCarthy took too much of a lead at second and the Hays catcher was able to pick him off. After a groundout, Kelby Tomlinson hit a single that scored Weber but could have scored two if McCarthy hadn't been picked. After Joe Vaskas walked, Bergeron hit a single to score Tomlinson, and Vaskas attempted to reach third on the play form first but was called out to end the inning with the Bee Jays trailing 6-2.
Hays extended its lead to 9-2 with a home run that scored three in the fourth. Liberal appeared to be ready to match the Larks in the bottom half of the inning with two straight hits by Mark Gomez and Richard Bohlken. But Gomez roamed away from second and was gunned down by the Hays catcher. Joe Perez then hit into a double play to end the threat.
Liberal added one more run before the ninth while the Larks jumped out to a 15-3 lead.
The Bee Jays made the score respectable by adding five runs in the bottom of the ninth, but the rally fell short, 15-8.
Liberal will look to split the two-game set with the Larks Wednesday with a 7 p.m. game at Brent Gould Field. Admission is free, courtesy Kocchel's Bumper to Bumper.