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Streak ends as Cougars’ rough day at the park results in pair of losses

Streak ends as Cougars’ rough day at the park results in pair of losses

Knocked off its perch from a fourteen game win streak, the Barton Community College baseball team suffered a doubleheader sweep to Division II No. 13 ranked North Iowa Area Community College Thursday at Lawson-Biggs Field.  Scoring ten runs in the first three innings North Iowa would take game one 12-6, then plated three in the extra frame due in part to two Barton errors grabbing an 8-5 eight inning nightcap victory.  As the Trojans pounded out twenty-four hits in the two game series, the Cougars could only muster fifteen hits while aiding in the losses with a combined eight errors on the day.   The non-conference losses drop Barton to 16-7 overall while North Iowa improves to 13-5.  The Cougars will have a day off before beginning a four-game weekend series versus Metropolitan Community College-Longview.  Saturday's first pitch at Lawson-Biggs Field slated for 2:00 p.m. with Sunday's start time at 12:00 p.m.

Perhaps a sign of the day to come, the Cougars committed its first of three errors in the opener on the very first pitch of the game. North Iowa would push the run to score on a sacrifice fly before Austin LaDoux ripped a drive right down the right field line riding the west wind for a two-run homerun for a 3-0 lead.  

It took North Iowa three batters into the second inning to double the lead as Jonathan Cruz sent a towering shot drifting over the fence in right center field.   Barton starter Dexter Coughtrey would battle back getting a strikeout but the Trojans weren't done getting a single and walk before LaDoux would strike again chasing Coughtrey from the game with a two-out double to right.  Spencer Halloran then greeted reliever Daniel Kohl with an RBI single to right capping the six run inning for an early 9-0 advantage.

Being sent down in order in the first, Ryan McClure was the first Cougar to reach base drilling a triple to left center but unfortunately the head first slide provided little resistance to the bag as McClure was tagged out on the over slide.   Corrigan Bartlett restarted the inning with a single to right but ended up on the third base bag as the Trojan right fielded missed the scoop on the grounder. Cole Henley followed with the first of his two RBIs driving a grounder up the box cracking the goose egg scoring Bartlett.   Following Trey Pittman's reaching on a Trojan infield error, mason Hightower came through with a double to center cutting the deficit to seven.

The Trojans would get one back in the top of the third as Cruz's one out single turned into a run following a balk followed by consecutive singles.   North Iowa would add to its lead with single runs in the fifth and sixth taking advantage of a two-out infield error in the fifth and two-out double in the sixth.

Barton would make a late charge with a single run in the sixth on Henley's RBI single followed by three in the seventh.  Dakota Nave led off the final inning with a single moving over to third on a Michael Sinks' one-out single.  Matthew Baca drove Nave home with a sacrifice fly and after a McClure walk, Bartlett drove home two on a double to center.

Coughtrey took his first collegiate loss dropping to 2-1 yielding six earned runs and six hits in his 1.2 innings of work.  Dan Loats earned the win for his six innings of work striking out seven and scattering five hits improving to 4-0 on the season. 

As if déjà vu struck the Cougars again in the nightcap, Barton opened the game putting a Trojan immediately on first base with a hit batsman then committed the first of its five game two errors on the next at-bat.   Things then started to snowball with a full count walk and single later, the Trojans had a two run lead.  Three pitches later the lead multiplied by two from a double to center before Barton starter Avery Riedmiller would settle in and retire the next three.

A Henley triple to right field scoring on an error occurring on the relay throw gave Barton life in the home half.  Sinks followed with a single but after a wild pitch later, became the second Barton runner on the day thrown out at third on an attempted steal.  Consecutive walks by Pomeroy and McClure restarted the inning easily scoring as Bartlett connected on the second triple of the inning with a deep drive to center.  Bartlett would come home one batter later scoring on Ryan Schippers ground out to the pitcher.

Barton would take its first and only lead in the next inning as Derek Johnson's one-out single would score on a two-out hit by Sinks.

The lead would hold up into the fourth until a one out walk and stolen base became the equalizer as Robbie Glendinning deposited a 1-2 pitch into left field.

Things stayed relatively quiet for the next couple of innings with the Cougars' best opportunity to pull back ahead fell short stranding two-out walks by Bartlett and Schippers as the pair were in scoring position after a double steal.

Scheduled for seven innings, the Cougars rolled up a double play in the seventh erasing a leadoff single while Trojan reliever Danny Beizer sent Barton down in order after Colton Zink reached on an error.

Two more infield errors cost the Cougars big in the extra eight inning.   A leadoff single and throwing error from a sac bunt moved to scoring position one batter later on a fielder's choice.  A Malique Ziegler single through the left side of the infield proved to be the game winner but a two out infield error provided the final dagger allowing two more runs to cross the dish.

Despite pitching an effective final three innings of work including two strikeouts and zero earned runs, Mason Hiser took the loss dropping to 2-2 on the season.  Beizer's two innings of one hit and two strikeouts earned his first win of the season improving to 1-2.

Bartlett had a solid two games getting four of the Cougars' fifteen hits going 4-of-6 driving in a team high four runs while also drawing four walks.  Henley and Sinks each had three hits with Henley driving in two run runs.

LaDoux and Blake Whitecotton combined for ten of the Trojans' twenty-four hits with LaDoux driving in six of the twenty runs.