After a one-year stint in the Kansas Collegiate League Baseball, the Larks are joining the Rocky Mountain Baseball League and will begin play in the 2020.
“It’s something we’ve been talking about, trying to make sure we get the right kind of competition for our players to compete against and we just felt joining the RMBL would be the best fit for us” said Larks manager Frank Leo. “The teams out there are all willing to travel into Hays which helps fill out home schedule.”
Following the breakup of the Jayhawk League, the Larks joined the KCLB last season along with the Liberal BeeJays and the Dodge City A’s. Outside of their former Jayhawk League rivals, only two other teams in the KCLB were willing to travel to western Kansas to play games.
“That was one of the drawbacks of the KCLB. Teams there were kind of restricted a little bit in their budgets and not able to do extensive traveling but the teams out in the RMBL are willing to do that,” Leo said. “We’ve played several of those teams and the competition out there was good then they came to Hays to play us.”
Not counting their games with the Liberal BeeJays and Dodge City A's who are opting to remain in the KCLB, the Larks went 15-1 against the rest of the league and scored 10 or more runs in 11 of those 16 games. The Rocky Mountain Baseball League will now consist of nine teams.
In addition to the Larks, the other eight teams are in Colorado and includes the Colorado Sox, Denver Cougars, Colorado Pirates, Game Day Saints, Colorado Roughriders, Boulder Collegians, Colorado Springs Renegades and Fort Collins Foxes.
Each team will play a 32-game league schedule with four games versus each opponent, two at home and two on the road. The Denver Cougars will play all four of their games with the Larks in Hays giving the Larks 18 league home games.
“It’s going to make for some longer road trips,” Leo said. “It could be a six-day road trip and two four-day road trips to get our 14 games in out in Colorado.”
The RMBL is NBC affiliated and currently receives two bids into the NBC World Series, one in the First Week and one in the Championship Week.