Sunday's trip to Hutchinson's Hobart-Detter Field brought back the what if moments for the Barton Community College baseball team as again the Blue Dragons of Hutchinson Community College produced two key big innings to sweep the Cougars 7-5 and 7-4. In a near replay of Saturday's game one, Barton and Hutchinson were locked up in a sixth inning tie before the Blue Dragons plated five and held off the Cougars' seventh inning rally to win the opener. Hutchinson then went on to score four in the third inning of the series finale proving to be the difference in the three run victory. The weekend series leaves the Cougars at 9-11 in conference play and 21-18 overall while Hutchinson is atop the standings at 17-7 and 27-12. Barton will step out of conference play on Tuesday for a nine inning contest at Bethany College before a weekend conference series at Lawson-Biggs Field against Pratt Community College.
Corrigan Bartlett led the Cougars in series batting .500 driving in four runs including the first of game one with a double to center field scoring Michael Sinks. Sinks, who would account for two of the Cougars' six hits, led off the inning with a line drive to right field. Bartlett would later score following two groundouts, the last coming from Dayton Pomeroy.
The Blue Dragons countered in the home half with two of their own as the teams headed to the sixth. Getting two aboard with a walk and single with one out, things started to unravel as an infield error would load the bases. A hit by pitch would give Hutchinson the lead and tack on four more with two-out on consecutive singles followed by a double in claiming a 7-2 lead.
A Ryan McClure single followed by a Pomeroy walk and a Matthew Baca single loaded the bases for a Barton seventh inning comeback attempt with one out. Fouling out for the second time in the innings, the Cougars were left to their final out before Cole Henley's double delayed the inevitable drove in the final two runs.
Pitching an effective inning Thursday, Jackson Rose returned to the start on the mound for the first time since March 20. Going the full six innings surrendering just three earned runs, Rose suffered his first loss of the season dropping to 4-1 in scattering seven hits while striking out five.
Hutchinson strung three consecutive singles to open the third inning of the series finale before Caden Doga's second grand slam of the season gave the Dragons a quick strike four run lead. One inning later three more two-out consecutive singles set up two more runs and suddenly the deficit had grown to six.
Getting a Henley one-out walk and Sinks reaching on a two-out Hutchinson infield error in the following inning, Bartlett drew the Cougars back to within four driving a double to the left center gap.
The deficit would get cut in half in the seventh as Bartlett kept the inning alive with his second double scoring one batter later on McClure's single to right.
The Blue Dragons would answer in the home half as Doga blasted his second home run of the day and fifth of the series launching a school record twentieth long ball of the season.
Trailing by four into the ninth, Sinks led off the inning with a blooper to left field skipping off the mitt of Doga. The ball found Doga once again on the next at-bat as Bartlett connected on his fourth hit of the game advancing to second and scoring Sinks on Doga's second misplay in a row. Following a McClure walk on four straight pitches, the one run was all the Cougars could get going down in order to end the game.
Cody Brewer took the loss dropping to 1-2 on the season giving up eleven hits and six runs in his 3.2 innings of work.