It didn't have the feel of a weekend showdown of ranked teams, but the Tuesday afternoon doubleheader at Lawson-Biggs Field was still a battle of top twenty squads as the Barton Community College baseball team split the doubleheader with Iowa Western Community College. Behind a seven run fifth inning the No. 20 Reivers took the opener 15-9 but the No. 13 ranked Cougars were able to salvage the split behind a four run fourth inning in holding on for a 5-3 victory. Now 21-7, Barton's next action will come this weekend with a 1:00 p.m. first pitch in a four-game conference set at Garden City Community College. Iowa Western leaves Great Bend 14-9 on the year taking the field on Wednesday in a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader at No. 12 Hutchinson Community College.
Dawson Pomeroy collected the first of his two game one hits driving in Michael Sinks' leadoff walk to give the Cougars their first run. One-out RBI singles by Kaden Fowler and Brady Michel ensued but Barton was unable to expand the lead leaving the bases loaded as the Cougars would strand nine on base paths in the seven inning contest.
Aided by two hit by pitches, Iowa Western answered the bell in the top of the next inning with four singles to tie it at three before adding three more in the third for a 6-3 lead.
Trey Pittman drew a walk to keep the home half of the fourth alive with Pomeroy following with a liner up the middle. After a wild pitch moved the pair up ninety feet before Fowler laced a drive into left field plating both. Brett Bonar then entered the lineup putting the shine on Head Coach Brent Biggs' decision by lacing a double into right field tying the game at six.
Disaster struck for Barton in the ensuing fifth inning as the Reivers would put two on the board without a hit to chase reliever Brant Millerborg from the game after one inning of work. Iowa Western would then greet Taylor Langston with consecutive singles blowing up the lead to five before getting their first out, tacking on two more from a two out single.
A Paul Claassen double to begin the home half quickly turned into a run as two pitches later, Alan Clark sent a blast to deep center against the wind for the sophomore's second triple of the season. Sinks' ensuing RBI groundout would be all the Cougars could get as Pittman fourth double of the year was left stranded.
A Reiver leadoff walk became the first of two runs to match the Cougars' production as consecutive doubles by Kobe Hyland and Nick Menken took the lead back to seven. Barton would manage a lone answer run in the home half as Fowler connected on the Cougars' fifth double of the game with Claassen driving him home on a single to left.
Millerborg took the loss dropping to 0-2 while Jeremy Moyer's 3.1 innings of work earned the Arizona sophomore his second win of the season against no defeats.
John Hawk and Hyland led the Reivers going a combined 5-of-7 out of the No. 8 and 9 hole in the lineup, driving in seven of Iowa Western's thirteen RBIs. Fowler's 3-for-3 performance with the double and three RBI led the Cougars with Pomeroy and Claassen each with two hits.
Barton would never trail in game two, getting a first inning run before a two out rally resulting in four more being added to the scoreboard in the fourth. Bartlett got things going in the first collecting his first hit in six at-bats with a single up the middle, scoring later on a failed pick-off attempt sending him to third, before a wild pitch returned the sophomore to the dugout giving Barton the early 1-0 lead.
As things fell apart for the Barton pitching staff resulting in seven fifth inning game one runs, the seams unraveled for Iowa Western in the fourth. Getting the first two outs, Reiver starter Matthew Burgess appeared out of the inning but an infield error opened the door for the big inning as Cole Henley reached the base paths. One strike later Langston drove his fourth double of the year into right center easily scoring Henley. A Michel walk and a pitching change to Dalton Lind later, Bryce Baumwart loaded the bases with a four pitch walk. Two hit by pitches to Sinks and Bartlett added two more runs with a passed ball accounting for its fourth run of the inning and the fifth unearned run of the game.
The Reivers would launch their own two out rally in the ensuing fifth, getting a Tyler Reichenborn single before dipping back into its game one starting lineup as Cole Evans checked in for a RBI single before Peter Hutzal's triple down the right field line scored another.
Having only pitched four innings prior, Neil Lemmons was finally chased in the sixth inning following a leadoff double and single putting runners on the corners. Pomeroy came in for relief, surrendering an RBI single before shutting down Iowa Western for the final five outs of the game.
Lemmons' 5.1 innings earned the Wichita freshman his first collegiate victory in striking out five with seven hits and three walks. Burgess took the hard luck loss in his 3.2 innings of work giving up three hits and five unearned runs dropping to 0-1.