One swing of the bat pretty much summed up the fate of the Barton Community College baseball team Wednesday at Lawson-Biggs Field as the Cougars took an eighth inning 10-0 loss to nationally receiving votes Hutchinson Community College. The Blue Dragons blasted three home runs in the non-conference affair none larger than a first inning grand slam leading to a five run start in building a nine run cushion through the first four frames. Hutchinson improves to 35-15 on the season dropping Barton to 27-23 with a quick turnaround staring the Cougars in the face returning to conference action on Thursday. Restructuring the weekend's regular season finale due to anticipated inclement weather sweeping the state, the four-game series with the sixth place 13-15 Cougars hosting the first place Colby Community College Trojans will begin on Thursday with hopes of concluding in one of the following three days. First pitch slated for 1:00 p.m. as the Cougars look to derail Colby's title hopes as the Trojans ride in to Great Bend atop the standings at 21-7 and 36-12 overall.
Committing the first of three errors in the game on the second batter of the evening, things snowballed against the Cougars quickly as a single and walk ensued loading the bases. Three pitches later Brady Hoover rode the west wind over the right field wall for a grand slam getting Hutchinson out to a blink-you-missed-it four run start. A hit by pitch and single followed by an RBI ground out increased the lead by one before the Cougars could finally get to the dugout as Hutchinson stranded two of their nine runners.
Two more Barton errors helped add to the deficit in the following inning but the Dragons went back to work earning their next two getting a pair of singles and doubles pushing the lead out to eight.
Getting leadoff batters aboard in five of the eight innings, the Cougars couldn't break through getting rolled up in three double plays on the night and stranding a Taylor Langston double in the third.
Having a keen interest in the grass beyond the right field wall, Hoover again went oppo leading off the fourth inning doubling up his season homerun production.
Freshman sensation Caden Doga, who scorched the Cougars two weeks ago in Hutchinson for five long balls, was held silent his first three at-bats until stepping to the plate with one-out in the eighth inning. Watching two pitches out of the zone from reliever Brant Millerborg, Doga dialed in on the third pitch launching a deep towering blast to centerfield breaking the Blue Dragon career home run record with his 28th of the season while getting Hutchinson to the magic run-rule margin.
Barton finished with eight hits to the Blue Dragons fourteen, being led by Ryan Schippers' 3-for-3 performance and Langston's 2-of-3 from the plate.
Avery Riedmiller took the loss dropping to 1-1 on the season going the first three innings surrendering five earned runs. Ben Wright pitched the middle third striking out four only allowing the Hoover solo homerun while Millerborg also had an effective two innings of work striking out three despite giving up Doga's historic long ball.