The Barton Community College baseball team had its season come to an end Saturday as a Cougar rally fell short 7-5 to Fort Scott Community College this morning at Wichita's Lawrence Dumont Stadium in an elimination game of the eight-team Central District Region VI Tournament. The loss concludes Barton's season at 42-18 while Fort Scott improves to 38-23 advancing to Sunday's 1:00 p.m. game against the loser of Hutchinson-Johnson County.
For the second straight game Barton found itself trailing early as a leadoff walk would score on an inning ending double play as Taylor Langston gunned out a tagging runner at third base.
But unlike Friday's game when it took the Cougars six innings to crack the scoreboard, Barton wasted little time getting rolling with Michael Sinks leading off the game with his first of his three hits in the game. Dawson Pomeroy would follow belting his sixth triple of his freshman season over the centerfielder's head, scoring one batter later on Kaden Fowler's groundout to the right side of the diamond.
Freshman hurler and three-time KJCCC pitcher of the week Jarrett Seaton settled in on the mound while getting solid defensive plays including another defensive gem by Langston and a big-time play by Sinks on a high chopper up the middle.
Having sent the Greyhounds down in order in the second and third, Seaton got the first two outs of the fourth before hard luck struck the Cougars as consecutive groundballs were just off the finger tips of shortstop Cole Henley and Pomeroy's third base glove to keep the inning alive. Still with an opportunity to close out the innings, Seaton's 0-2 pitch to Sean Moore was lined back up the middle tying it up at two.
Getting the first two aboard in the following inning, the Greyhounds again came through with two-out hits with Danny Crews' two RBI double scoring on Brandon Krenrich's ensuing triple pushing the Fort Scott lead to 5-2.
Barton would get one back two innings later as Corrigan Bartlett made the most of his one hit in the game, crushing his sixth home run of the year off the scoreboard in left center to conclude his sophomore season with fifty runs batted in while cutting the Cougars' deficit to 5-3 through six.
Andrew Repp, who took Seaton's place on the bump to begin the sixth, kept the Greyhounds in check into the eighth when a one-out hit batsman would end the freshman's day giving way to Langston. An outfield error would give the Greyhounds runner's at second and third but Langston struck out the next batter and was within a strikeout of escaping damage until pinch hitter Andruw McKenzie's 2-2 pitch double to right center struck for the Fort Scott's sixth two-out run scored ballooning the lead out to 7-3.
Derek Johnson, who took the place of Langston in right field, singled to left field to lead off the home half of the eight but a perfect strike from Greyhound catcher Krenwich erased the potential run as Johnson was called out trying to swipe second. The result was one of many "what would have been" for the Cougars in their two-day trip to Wichita as Michael Sinks completed his historic career in a Barton uniform with two-out lined double down the third base line. Upping his school single season double mark to twenty-six, Sinks shed the blue also atop the career chart finishing with forty-five in blowing past the thirty-three set by Shawn Fischer set in the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
Stranding two Greyhounds in the top of the ninth, Barton needed a four run rally to extend the best season since 2002. Pomeroy began things on a positive note with Barton's third straight leadoff single for his second hit of the game, being followed by Fowler's deep blast to center for his thirteen double for the Towanda, Kansas, freshman. Barton Athletics' Most Inspirational Athlete Trey Pittman then greeted reliever Kobie Schmitt with a line drive to left closing out his 2-of-4 last game as a Cougar driving both in for his thirty-eighth RBI drawing Barton to within two on no outs.
Cole Henley closed his Barton career on a good note lacing his lone hit of the day to left for the fourth straight Cougar hit to begin the inning, but it would be the last to find the turf as Schmitt got the final three outs on fly balls keeping Fort Scott alive in the tournament.
Freshmen pitchers filled the final pitching results as Seaton took the loss in his five innings of work to conclude the season at 11-2 while Kyle Smith improved to 4-2 with eight innings of strong work on the mound for the Greyhounds with Schmitt closing out his 16th save of the year.