The No. 11 ranked Barton Community College baseball team opened up conference play Thursday with a sweep over Dodge City Community College. The Cougars earned a sixth inning 11-1 run rule before launching a late comeback to force an extra frame in an 11-10 walk-off tenth inning victory. Winners of eleven straight games, Barton improves to 15-3 on the season while Dodge City 9-7 and 1-5 in conference play as the teams will resume the four-game series switching locations to Dodge City. First pitch of the doubleheader at Cavalier Field slated for 1:00 p.m.
The Cougars jumped out to a four-run lead in the second inning of the opener as Brady Michel and Brett Erickson began their .500 day at the plate with a double and single respectively to lead off the inning. Paul Claassen, who belted two of the twelve Cougar doubles on the day, drove the pair home with a drive to left but was picked off in a run down for the second out of the inning. Brett Huelsmann was another extra base threat on the day, lacing the first of two triples on the afternoon to keep the inning alive as Dawson Pomeroy followed with a rocket over the left field wall for the 4-0 Barton lead.
Brett Bonar's sac fly scored Carson Engroff from third after a leadoff double and advancing to third on a wild pitch to tack on a solo run in the third with Claassen's second consecutive double in as many plate appearances driving in Jared Maneth's fourth inning leadoff single to extend the lead.
Joining Michel and Erickson in the .500 club, Kaden Fowler led off the fifth with a triple and following an Engroff walk, Bonar drove the pair across the plate with double. Bonar would later score on Erickson's fielder's choice for the ninth run.
Barton put the game away in the sixth, getting a Pomeroy walk and stolen base leading to eventually scoring on a wild pitch, to go along with an Engroff single and Bonar walk before Michel would provide the game clincher on a single to right field.
Two-time pitcher of the week Josh Hendrickson improved to 4-0 on the season allowing just two hits and no earned runs in striking out six while walking just one.
The Conquistadors jumped out on game two starter Andrew Repp for three runs getting a walk, single, and two doubles but two strikeouts prevented further damage in the inning.
Repp settled down the ensuing three innings as a Tanner White leadoff third inning center field homerun the lone run through the stretch.
Barton cut the deficit in half as Engroff's leadoff single would score on Michel's double to right center with Maneth driving him in with a double to left.
The Conquistadors would get back at Repp in the fifth with a leadoff single and double but the Tom Emanski perfectly executed relay of Fowler to Erickson to Bonar erased the leadoff with the out at the plate. White's RBI single would then chase Repp with Easton Smith getting the second out on a strikeout before three straight singles would prompt another call to the mound as Nolan Riley put the stop to the six hit three run inning with a groundout to strand a pair of Conqs on the base baths.
The Cougars tied it up in the home half with five runs coming on four extra base hits. Brett Huelsmann's leadoff single and Pomeroy's walk led off the inning with Fowler's two RBI double being followed one out later by Bonar's triple to right field. Michel and Erickson followed with consecutive doubles to drive in the remaining two runs.
A one-out Barton infield error seemed to re-energize the Conquistadors in the top of the ensuing sixth inning stringing a single, double, and single to plate three runs chasing Riley from the game. Lefty Patrick McClure came in to get a strikeout with right hander Tanner Howe putting the dagger in the inning striking out the next to end the frame.
Pomeroy and Fowler singles set up a one run Barton answer in the bottom of the inning with Bonar providing a two-out RBI single drawing Barton to within striking distance at 10-8.
A leadoff double and hit by pitch brought Pomeroy to the hill from his third base position, slamming the door on the threat with back-to-back strikeouts before a fielder's choice ended the inning.
After a quick Barton seventh, Pomeroy again kept the Conq bats quiet striking out the leadoff before two infield singles.
Huelsmann's leadoff triple looked to lead the Barton comeback but Dodge City's Eric Lindsay induced a pop up before the call to the pen brought Mahlyk Davis to the hill getting the final two outs.
A 6-4-3 double play erased a ninth inning leadoff hit by pitch keeping Barton close headed to the final frame trailing by two.
Following Bonar's groundout to begin the home half, Michel greeted new Dodge City pitcher Jake English with a towering drive to left cutting the deficit in half. Erickson then followed with his third double of the day with Isiah Perez moving him to third on a deep fly to center before Claassen fought off a pair of two-strike pitches lacing a single up the winner to force extra frames.
Dodge City would get their leadoff aboard in the 10th but Pomeroy would mow down the next three to end any threat.
The Cougar top of the lineup set the table for the eventual game winner with Pomeroy drawing a leadoff walk and Fowler connecting on his third hit of the game with a single through the left side as Bonar then drew a one-out walk to load the bases. Batting .600 on the day with four extra bases, Michel's 2-0 pitch grounder towards third was the weakest of his six hits but turned out to be the biggest as the Great Bend sophomore earned his fourth RBI of the game sending the Cougars over the dugout rail in celebration of his second walk-off hit of the day.
Pomeroy earned his first victory of the season as the Topeka Shawnee Heights product shutout the Conquistadors in the final four innings allowing just one hit while striking out six.