The Barton Community College baseball team returned to Lawson-Biggs Field for its second consecutive day of competition splitting its conference doubleheader Thursday with Colby Community College. The conference leading Trojans jumped out to a ten run lead in game one winning 11-2 but the Cougars battled back in game two scoring in six of its eight innings at the plate including a six run third inning to split the twin bill with a 13-7 win. The split leaves Barton to 14-16 in Jayhawk Conference play and 28-24 overall while preventing Colby from clinching the conference crown moving to 22-8 and 37-13 on the year. The sixth place Cougars will play its final home games of the season on Sunday as the teams will wrap up their four-game series with a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader.
With three pro baseball scouts in attendance, the spotlight was on starting pitching with the Cougars' Jackson Rose and Jeremy Gwinn for the Trojans.
The Trojans wasted little time getting ahead of Rose with a single and walk to lead off the inning. One pitch later Marvin Malone connected on the first of his two hits with a left field double driving in the first two runs. Settling in to the mound, Rose battled back inducing a groundout then striking out the second out of the inning but an infield error kept the inning alive on the next batter allowing a run to score and put Barton in a three-run hole.
Leading the Cougars with two of the Cougars' five hits, Michael Sinks doubled in the home half with one-out but was stranded at the bag.
Rose sent the Trojans down in order in the second but a repeat of the first inning began the third frame with a single and walk. Following a Trojan sacrifice, Colby would knock two singles before the second of Barton's four errors in the game helped fuel the fire. Another single and walk would ensue, along with an RBI groundout, but the second error of the inning plated two more runs chasing Rose from the contest. Daniel Kohl came out of the pen shutting the door with a strikeout to end the inning but the damage was done with seven runs building the Trojans' lead out to 10-0.
Barton made a dent in the deficit in the home half with consecutive singles by Mason Hightower and Drake Bliss being followed with a RBI single on Sinks' second hit in as many at-bats. Corrigan Bartlett's sac fly drove in another but the Cougars were unable to string a big inning as Gwinn struck out his second of the frame to end the inning.
Kohl kept the Trojans off the scoreboard the rest of way only allowing two hits while striking out four in 3.1 innings of work. Giving way to Brant Millerborg for the seventh, two walks and a single resulted in the Trojans' last run of their 11-2 victory.
Rose dropped to 4-3 on the season while Gwinn improved to 8-1.
With Colby a game from clinching the outright Jayhawk title, the Cougars weren't going to very hospitable launching a thirteen hit attack scoring at least one run in six of their eight innings at the plate.
Bliss got things going leading off the home half with a single with Ryan McClure came through in the clutch doubling to right giving the Cougars the early lead.
Colby evened things up in the top of the second getting a two-out single then assisted the Cougars in the bottom of the inning with a hit by pitch and infield error leaving Barton with a 2-1 lead to the top of the third.
Fireworks broke out in the third inning as the teams combined for ten runs. Colby generated four on two walks, two RBI singles, and a big two-out two-strike double driving in two more.
Two of the Cougars' six extra base hits jumpstarted Barton's home half with Bartlett tripling home Sinks, then trotted home on McClure's second double of the game. Sloppy infield play helped the Cougars push across two more as Dayton Pomeroy reached on a fielder's choice and Ryan Schippers reaching on an infield error ending up on third base. Cole Henley then followed with a RBI single and two outs later, Bliss doubled to right and as the dust settled, the Cougars owned an 8-5 lead.
Following a one run Colby fourth and a three-and-out for the Cougars, starting hurler Garret Rogers shut the Trojans down in the fifth. The Barton offense responded with Henley laying down a perfect bunt single to open the home half with Matthew Baca banging the Cougars third triple of the game scoring two batters later on Bliss' second RBI of the game with a sacrifice.
Rogers again sent the Trojans down in order in the sixth for his final inning of work as the freshman would improve his mark to 3-4 on the season.
Barton would continue adding to its lead getting a Henley RBI single in the sixth and a McClure two-out triple in the seventh driving in the final two of the sophomore's four runs driven in.
Austin Taylor helped protect the late innings limiting Colby to one hit in two innings with Mason Hiser working the ninth. Getting two quick outs to begin the final inning, Hiser had the Trojans one strike away from ending the game but Colby instead strung two singles together before Barton's lone error of the game allowed the final Colby run.
McClure had a monster game two at the plate going 3-for-4 driving in four runs on two doubles and a triple finishing the doubleheader batting .500. Henley also had three hits joining Bliss and Schippers with two RBIs each and batted .429 in the series. The 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup of Bliss and Sinks also batted .429 while combining for two doubles and three runs batted in.