The Barton Community College baseball team opened up conference play this past weekend in Concordia getting a four-game sweep at Cloud County Community College. On Saturday the Cougars rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh to steal the opener 7-4 then took the nightcap 10-1 behind a six run fifth inning. Looking for the sweep on Sunday Barton put up a fourth inning ten spot winning game one 15-4 before scoring nine in the seventh for the clinching 15-7 series finale. The ninth straight victory improves the Cougars to 11-5 while dropping Cloud County to 2-15 on the season. Barton will have a mid-week non-conference contest this Wednesday in a 5:00 p.m. nine inning affair at Lawson-Biggs Field before also hosting Butler Community College in a four-game weekend conference set beginning at 1:00 p.m. Saturday.
Digging a four run third inning deficit in the conference opener being shut down to only a Drake Bliss two-out single through the first five innings, the Cougars finally got to Cloud County starter John Badgett in the sixth inning. Getting walks by Alan Clark and Michael Sinks with a Bliss hit-by-pitch sandwiched between, Dayton Pomeroy came through with a two RBI single to chase Badgett from the game. One out later Mason Hightower lifted a sacrifice fly to left field and suddenly the Cougars were with one.
Cole Henley led off the final inning with a single, advancing to second on an error before Trey Pittman gave Barton two base runners beating out a fielder's choice. One out later Bliss completed his 2-of-3 game driving in the tying run and one pitch later, Sinks sac bunt drove in the winning run. Ryan McClure complete the four run inning driving two more with a two-out line drive double to right field clinching the 7-4 win for the Cougars' fourth late comeback victory of the season. Taylor Langston, pitching three innings of middle relief shut down the T-Birds with one hit to earn the win improving to 2-0 on the season while Mason Hiser worked the seventh grabbing the Cougars' first save of the season.
Getting only five hits in the opener, the Cougar bats would be more productive in game two of Saturday's doubleheader getting eleven in the 10-1 win. Knotted up at one after the first inning of play, Barton generated a six run fifth to pull away. Loading the bases behind the leadoff single from Bartlett followed by Clark reaching on a bunt and Bliss drawing a walk, Sinks delivered the game winner with a single up the middle. Pomeroy, would drive in three runs in the contest, followed with a sharp ground ball through the left side adding two more runs to the scoreboard. Sinks would later add another scoring on a wild pitch before Hightower delivered the final blow with a sac fly scoring Pomeroy. Bliss and Sinks combined for a .500 effort at the top of the lineup to lead the charge while Austin Taylor struck out seven in his six innings on the hill improving to 2-1 on the season.
Scoring three in the third of Sunday's first game of the doubleheader, the Cougars exploded for ten runs in the fourth tacking on another two in the final fifth to win 15-4. Getting consecutive doubles by Pittman and Hightower, Barton tallied seven hits, a walk, a hit batsman, and capitalized on three Cloud County errors in the inning. Sinks stayed hot at the plate going 3-for-4 in the two-spot while Hightower's 2-for-3 plate effort drove in three runs while three other Cougars drove in two runs each including Langston's pinch hit two RBI in the fifth for Barton's final runs. Jackson Rose earned his first win of the season pitching the first four innings striking out six while Daniel Kohl closed the door in the fifth.
Each team came out putting runs on the board through the first three innings as Cloud County was on the top side of a 4-3 score in the nine inning finale. After three scoreless innings for each, the Cougars were the first to awake with a nine run seventh inning. A one out walk by Pomeroy followed by singles from McClure and Bartlett tied the game at four. Taking the lead on a passed ball, a Pittman sac fly and Colton Zink RBI single quickly pushed the advantage out to three. Matthew Baca single up the middle and Bliss reaching by getting plunked at the plate would load the bases for Sinks who would drive two in with another single up the heart of the diamond. Two pitches later Pomeroy would drive out his first of two home runs in the game pushing Barton's lead to 12-4.
The lead grew to ten in the following inning getting an RBI double from Henley, then would score within the next at-bat advancing on an error and wild pitch. The T-Birds' three run home half of the inning would cut the deficit in half before Pomeroy drilled his third home run of the season.
Hiser evened his freshman campaign record to 1-1 striking out two while only allowing one hit in his four innings of work. McClure pitched the final inning striking out one and despite walking two in the inning, induced the second double play ball turned by the middle infielders to squelch any threat securing the 15-7 victory.
Barton finished the game with fourteen hits reaching the ten-plus margin three times in the four game series. Pomeroy's 3-for-3 led the Cougars to go along with his four runs batted in while four others had a multi-hit game.