Let’s just call getting a run against the Hays High baseball team is getting increasingly difficult. Especially the earned kind. The Indian pitchers have a combined ERA of 0.94 and the two starters Kade Parker and Layne Downing have ERA’s of 0.24 and 0.59. The only reason Hays has five losses on the season, unearned runs, 21 of them this season.
Friday against WAC rivals Great Bend, the Indians were able to control the unearned runs, giving up just one in a double header sweep of the Panthers.
“Our defense is really stepping up,” said Parker. “And our bats are getting much better. Ever since we were about 500 our offense and defense stepped up.”
In the first game Hays struck for two runs in the second inning, getting one on a Trent Henningsen double that scored Dalton Stout and the other when Downing doubled and scored Henningsen.
The Indians got two more runs in the fourth off RBI singles from Jared Haynes and Marcus Altman.
The Panthers would get their lone run in the fifth on a passed ball that scored Logan Zecha. But Hays would get that back in the fifth on Downing’s second RBI double of the day and then in the sixth Altman got his second RBI single of the day, making it a 6-1 final.
In game two, the Indians got all the offense they needed in the first inning, when a Bryce Beck throwing error opened the door for five unearned Hays High runs.
That would be more than enough for Parker, who gave up just three hits and struck out four over seven shutout innings to give Hays the 5-0 win in game two and a sweep of the Panthers.
“They are kind of our rivals in the WAC,” said Parker. “It’s always good to get a sweep over anyone in the WAC, but especially Great Bend.”
Head coach Frank Leo says, this sweep is just another step toward the teams ultimate goals.
“Every win is big if you are going to win a WAC title you can’t split, you have to get some sweeps in there,” said Leo. “We were fortunate today, I thought we played pretty consistent all day long. We pitched it well, we played good defense and we has timely hitting.”