A ninth inning rally fell a run short Wednesday night as the Barton Community College baseball team dropped a non-conference game at No. 6 Hutchinson Community College. Trailing by four after a Blue Dragon four-run third inning, the Cougars climbed back before striking back for two ninth inning runs but left two stranded in coming up short. The loss snapped Barton eleven game win streak slipping to 38-14 on the season while the Blue Dragons captured their thirteenth consecutive victory improving to 39-11. Returning to conference play this weekend to wrap up the regular season, the Cougars look to hold on to the second spot sitting at 19-9 as Cloud County Community College with a four game win streak at 25-27 look to hold on to the sixth slot in the standings coming to Lawson-Biggs Field with a 10-18 Jayhawk West record. With forecasted rains in the forecast, the four-game set is slated to begin with a pair of games at 1:00 p.m. on Friday with the remaining two games set for 1:00 p.m. Monday.
As Barton entertains Cloud County in the season finale, Hutchinson with its three game lead in the standings hosts last place Pratt Community College. With eyes being on the Cougars' series with Cloud County having impact on both of the top and bottom of the standings, another series of Barton interest is the Dodge City hosting Colby series with the Cougars owning a one game lead over the Conquistadors and a two game lead over the Trojans.
Dawson Pomeroy collected the first of his three hits on the evening driving in Barton's first of two first inning runs with Kaden Fowler's groundout following the lineup giving the Cougars an early two-run lead.
A hit by pitch and consecutive singles cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning before the first of two Wyatt Divis' homeruns on the evening led off the second inning to tie things up.
Hutchinson would go ahead for good in the third innings on a leadoff double and single, tacking on three more with an RBI single and Divis' two-out two-run long ball pushed the lead to 6-2.
Barton would get one back in the following inning as Brett Bonar drove in Cole Henley with a deep double to right field. Henley would then replace starter Neil Lemmons for the fourth inning getting out of a leadoff single with the second of three double plays rolled up by the Cougar defense.
The Cougars would strand one of its eight runners on the base paths in the fifth inning with Hutchinson taking its lead back to four in the home half as a hit by pitch and walk set up an RBI single.
Following consecutive three and outs by both teams in the sixth, reigning conference player of the year Michael Sinks picked up his lone hit of the game launching his team leading eleventh home run and 50th RBI over the Hobart-Detter Field left wall cutting the deficit to three.
With Henley sending the Blue Dragons down in order for the second straight inning, Barton also was sent down in order in the eighth leaving the Cougars to its final three outs to mount a comeback. Brant Millerborg pitched the home half of the eighth, getting into a bases loaded one-out jam after consecutive singles and a walk, but induced a middle infield double play to keep the deficit at three.
Pinch hitter Ryan Schippers led off the inning getting hit by pitch but after consecutive strikeout and fly out, Barton was down to its final out before Corrigan Bartlett wore the Cougars' 90th hit by pitch to keep the inning alive. Pomeroy completed his 3-ofr-4 game with an RBI single to right and with Hutchinson then committing its third error of the game allowing Barton within one with runners at the corners, Trey Pittman's groundout to third ended the comeback.
Lemmons took his first loss of the season dropping to 2-1 with Hutchinson's Ryan Junker picking up his first victory of the year improving to 1-3.
The Cougars managed just five hits on the evening led by Pomeroy's three as four Blue Dragons controlled Barton's offense. Hutchinson connected for thirteen hits being led by Divis' two home runs while being joined by No. 9 batter Brock Schaffer's identical 3-for-4 performance.