WICHITA — Down 5-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, things were starting to look bleak for the Hays Larks in a battle of National Baseball Congress World Series unbeatens against the Santa Barbara Foresters.
The Larks would finally get the bats going in the remaining innings to claim a 9-7 win Tuesday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
In the other battle of unbeatens, the National Junior College Athletic Association National Team downed the Haysville Aviators 10-1 in seven innings on the eight-run rule. The Aviators had a six-game winning streak in the tourney snapped.
In the opening game, the Larks scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game.
"Our guys never quit," Arkansas State infielder Derek Birginske, who drove in four runs, said. "All you can do is play hard."
"We just played with a lot of heart and a lot of confidence," said Bradley junior Tyler Leffler, who finished two for four hitting with three RBIs. "We knew what we were made of and showed it tonight. Getting down early like that was tough. We just finally got it going. It's fun. It's a great atmosphere. There's great pitchers and great hitters here."
Michael Burns went three for five hitting for Hays. Thomas Clay and Tyler Detmer each went two for four. Detmer and Derrick Mount each drove in a run.
D.J. Carr went 1 2-3 innings of relief for the win. Blake Rogers pitched the top of the ninth for the sace.
Jaylin Davis put the Foresters in the lead with a two-run home run in the top of the second inning. Four hits and an error in the top of the fifth led to three more Santa Barbara runs.
An error in the bottom of the fifth led to the first run for Hays. With one out, Birginske hit a grand slam to tie the game.
"He got hit with the fastball, so I knew he was going to throw a slider," Birginske said. "It really got us going. Detmer took a walk, then he got hit with the fastball, so I knew he was going with the slider. I was just sitting on it. It wasn't a bad pitch. I was sitting on it. I was ready for it."
The Foresters came back in the top of the sixth with a pair of runs on an A.J. Kennedy sacrifice fly and a Colt Atwood RBI single. Leffler tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run double. Dettmer followed with a double off the left-field wall to score Leffler.
Mount hit an RBI single for Hays in the bottom of the seventh.
In the top of the ninth, Santa Barbara got a walk, a single and an error, but a strikeout, a ground out and a pop out ended the game.
Dylan Bein took the loss for the Foresters.
Atwood and Davis both finished three for five hitting. Granger Studdard went two for five. Davis drove in two runs. Atwood, Ford Stainback, Dillon Dobson, Studdard and Kennedy each added an RBI.
In the late game, the NJCAA team scored five runs in the first inning. David Osnato and Brent Williams each had a two-run double in the inning. David Petrino had an RBI single. The NJCAA added four runs in the third inning. Alex Lee hit an RBI triple, Trooper Reynolds and Irwin Lopez each hit an RBI single and Daniel Sweet drove in a run on a ground out.
The Aviators scored in the top of the third on a Kendall Whitman RBI ground out.
The NJCAA added a run in the bottom of the sixth.
Lee finished the game two for two hitting. John Holland went two for three. Lee went two for four.
Cody Sharrow had the sole hit for the Aviators.
NJCAA starter Riley Smith struck out six batters in four innings. Phillips Diehl went two innings, striking out three. Joshua Falk struck out two in the seventh. Jake Baxter took the loss for the Aviators, facing five batters without an out.
80th National Baseball Congress
Hays Larks 9,
Santa Barbara Foresters 7
Sant.Bar. 020 032 000 —7 14 3
Hays 000 053 10x —9 12 1
Bein (L, 0-1), Quintero 6, Withrow 6, Williamson 8 and Kennedy; Breit,
Larkin 6, Carr 6, Bently 8, Rogers (S, 1) 9 and Detmer, Albert 9. HR —
SB: Davis (1). H: Birginski (1). Time — 2:37.
NJCAA National Team 10,
Haysville Aviators 1 (7 innings)
Haysville 001 000 0 —1 1 1
NJCAA 504 001 x —10 10 1
Baxter (L, 0-1), Monnig 1, Jobpst 3, Traglia 7 and Lacayo; Smith,
Diehl (W, 1-0) 5, Falk 7 and Williams, Paul 5. Time — 1:58.