The Dodge City Athletics had the breaks going for them early, but couldn't capitalize as the Hays Larks hit home runs in three straight innings towards a 6-1 victory in Jayhawk League action at Cavalier Field.
The loss was the seventh straight for the Athletics (2-7, 0-7 Jayhawk) and the first against the defending league champions.
Hays had a chance to get runs on the board in the top of the first inning, but Athletics' starting pitcher Ryan Peterson pitched out of the trouble and leaving the bases loaded.
Dodge City took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Louis Diaz walked, went to second on a second walk, went to third on a groundout and scored on a groundout by Cole Davis.
Hays hitter Jake Placzek hit what looked to be a game-tying home run in the third, but the ball hit the top of the leftfield wall and came back into the field. Centerfielder Kyle Young took the bounce and was able to get Placzek out at third base.
The Larks (8-1, 5-1) tied the game in the top of the fifth when Clayton Garland got a single off Dodge City starter Ryan Petersen, stole second, went to third on an infield hit by Placzek and scored on an error by shortstop Nick Osuna trying to throw out Placzek.
Hays wasn't finished in the inning as Taylor Petersen hit a two-run home run to make the score 3-1 after 4 1/2 innings.
The Larks' Desmond Roberts hit a home run off the top of the leftfield wall in the sixth inning to make the score 4-1 and Josh White capped off the scoring with a two-run shot in the seventh.
Chandler Hawkins was the winning pitcher for Hays, giving up three hits, two walks and one run while striking out 10 in seven innings of work. Petersen was the losing pitcher for Dodge City with four earned runs, nine hits and three walks while striking out six in 5 2/3 innings.
The two teams play again tonight, this time at Larks Field in Hays. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.