The Barton Community College baseball team experienced the thrill of not one, but two, walk-off homeruns Friday afternoon at Lawson-Biggs Field as the Cougars swept Seward County Community College in the Jayhawk doubleheader 4-3 in an extra eight inning of play and a 17-7 sixth inning run rule. The victories improve Barton to 13-9 in conference play and 31-13 overall while Seward County drops to 9-16 and 17-22 overall. The teams will wrap up their four-game series on Saturday with the doubleheader start time moved up to 11:00 a.m. due to forecasted afternoon weather implications.
Barton grabbed starting hurler Garret Rogers a two-run first inning lead as Michael Sinks led off the Cougars' at-bat with a triple to the left center gap, scoring one batter later on Dawson Pomeroy's ground out. Kaden Fowler delivered a single up the middle to keep the inning alive with Trey Pittman diving him home finding the same gap as Sinks did for the early 2-0 lead.
The Saints would grab one in the third as Brendon Madsen knocked a one-out double to right center, scoring on a wild pitch after an errant throw into the third base bag allowed him to trot home. Tim Fitzgerald's fifth inning leadoff double would lead to the tying run as Errett Edwards delivered the RBI with a single up the middle.
Another leadoff double one inning later would set up Seward County as a wild pitch moved Brian Tims to third base before Cody Stineman's single gave the Saints the lead.
One pitch after the first out of the home half, Fowler took advantage of the 30mph south wind launching a towering shot to centerfield drifting just over the 400-foot wall for the Towanda freshman's fourth long ball of the year and 30th RBI to tie the game.
Taylor Langston traded in his right field position to take over on the mound for the seventh, sending the Saints' top of the lineup down in order including striking out the first and third batters. Saints' hurler Jared Biddy was equally impressive in his seventh inning of work sending the Cougars down in order despite Alan Clark just missing a walk-off sending a 1-0 pitch to the center field warning track.
A two-out walk and single would leave the Saints empty in the top of the extra frame eighth with Biddy back to the hill for his 105th pitch. Three pitches later and Sinks would send jubilation through the Barton dugout launching a two-hopper to the Cougar indoor facility for the walk-off and team leading eighth long ball of the season.
Langston picked up the victory improving to 2-0 on the season while Biddy dropped to 4-4.
Jarrett Seaton sent the Saints down in order to begin game two with Sinks picking up where he left off driving a double to left field for his eighteenth of the season. Corrigan Bartlett followed with a single through the infield, moving to third on an errant pick-off through into first allowing Sinks to trot home. Fowler would later drive home Bartlett with a single to left as the Cougars jumped out to a two run lead for the second straight game.
The lead doubled in the following inning with a Sinks' RBI single and Bartlett sac fly with Pomeroy robbed by Owen Martin's great diving catch to limit the damage to two.
As if the defensive gem spurred the offense, Martin led off the Saints' third with a double to left center scoring on a Tims single. Seward would pepper left field to begin the fourth getting a Newell ground rule double, single, and walk to load the bases. Getting a strikeout for the first out, a sacrifice fly and single to center would be all the Saints would get as Seaton was able to induce a ground ball to hold the lead at 4-3.
Sinks answered with a one-out laser over the left field fence for his second long ball of the day and 9th of the season. The big damage in the inning would come one out later as the Cougars would bat around in the inning including stringing three consecutive RBI hits, a Fowler double, Pittman single, and Cole Henley's triple to right field. Following a wild pitch to score Henley, Langston restarted the wheel with a single followed by Clark's RBI double. Sinks, who would go 5-for-5 and a triple away from the cycle, received a gift from the wind gods blowing around a routine infield pop-up to find the grass allowing two more runs to cross the plate.
Things got interesting in the ensuing inning as a leadoff double followed by an RBI single became a runner on third base after a two-base error. A groundout RBI, walk, and single started the merry-go-round once more as a throwing error allowed two runs to pile on. Brant Millerborg took the place of Seaton giving up a single but induced a grounder back to the mound to end the inning.
Fowler led off the home half with a single as Henley would join him an out later drawing a walk. With the Cougars putting on a hit-n-run, Langston found the hole vacated by the Saints second baseman driving in two runs as the speedy Henley scored from first giving Barton a 12-3 lead.
Millerborg worked out of a leadoff single and Barton's third error of the game keeping the Saints scoreless in the sixth.
Sinks greeted Saints reliever West Reddell with his fifth hit of the game and seventh of the series, making way for Bartlett on the bases after drawing a walk. A 3-2 pitch later, Pomeroy made the most of his one hit on the afternoon with a straight away blast to center field for the three-run walk-off and fifth homerun of year.
Suffering his first loss of the season last weekend, Seaton bounced back earning the victory improving to 8-1 on the season as Ethan Earhart took the loss dropping to 3-3.