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No. 11 Barton Baseball offense explodes for big victories in conference sweep at Garden City #GoBarton

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The No. 11 ranked Barton Community College baseball team pounded out thirty-three hits in scoring thirty-runs to sweep Thursday's conference doubleheader at Garden City Community College. Flipping the lead with a four-run second frame in the opener, the Cougars plated ten runs in the deciding sixth inning to put the game away in an 18-3 victory. Jumping out to a nine run lead in the nightcap's first three innings, the Cougars' lead shrunk to two before tacking on five runs in the final two frames for a 14-7 win. The victories improve the first place Cougars to 5-1 in Jayhawk play and 19-4 on the season while Garden City drops to 3-7 and 15-13 overall. The four-game series resumes on Saturday in switching venues to the Cougars' Lawson-Biggs Field for a 1:00 p.m. first pitch.

Great Bend sophomores Jared Maneth and Brady Michel had nearly identical 4-of-5 plate appearances as each drove in four runs with two doubles and a home run. Both doubled in the third with Michel sending a leadoff two-bagger to left while Maneth drove him home with a double to right field. The duo was back at it in the fifth with Michel driving in Brett Bonar's leadoff triple and following Brett Erickson's double, Maneth drove his sixth double of the year to center with a two RBI shot in leading a three run inning for an 8-3 lead.

Kaden Fowler and Carson Engroff collected two hits in the opener as the pair went 2-for-4 with three runs batted in each. Fowler drove in the go-ahead winner in the second with Engroff following with a single capping Barton's four-run inning in grabbing a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

Josh Hendrickson went five innings to get the victory, improving to 5-0 on the season. The two-time KJCCC pitcher of the week took a no-hitter into his final inning as a two-out 0-1 pitch single spoiled the day. Hendrickson finished with six strikeouts before handling the ball over to Easton Smith for the sixth as the Cougars plated ten runs, seven coming on two-outs in the long inning. Smith surrendered a first pitch leadoff single but struck out the next batter before the Cougar defense of Paul Claassen, Erickson, and Engroff rolled up a game ending 6-4-3 double play.

Fowler laced his 12th double of the year to get things rolling in the nightcap's first inning with Engroff wearing a 2-1 pitch before Bonar began the first of his four-hit game with an RBI double. After Jacob Garza picked up his second strikeout, things started to unravel for Garza and the Broncbusters as an error resulted in two runs crossing the plate being followed by four consecutive walks tacking on another three for a Barton 6-0 advantage.

Leading off the second, Bonar's second consecutive double and 13th of the year was topped by Michel's 14th of the year three pitches later with Maneth's sacrifice fly later in the inning pushed the margin to eight.

The lead grew to nine the next inning as Fowler blasted his fourth home run of the season with one-out in the third.

Andrew Repp sent the Broncbusters down in order the first two innings before a one-out single broke through in the third but was promptly erased as Dawson Pomeroy started a 5-4-3 double play with Erickson and Engroff rolling up the backside to close out the inning.

A lead-off hit by pitch began Repp's fourth inning, with three singles and a double in the inning plating three. The fifth didn't start off well either as a double, RBI ground out, single, and hit by pitch would end Repp's day with Tanner Howe's taking over the mound resulting in a 2-1 pitch being sent over the right field wall for a three-run long ball cutting the margin to 9-7.

As the Barton offense cooled down, Howe got through the first two batters of the sixth but needed the relief of Austin Taylor to get out of bases loaded jam. Taylor would also get into a bases loaded jam in the seventh but battled back with a strikeout and fly out to keep Garden City off the board.

The Cougar offense woke back up in the eighth beginning with Bonar belting a 2-2 pitch over the right field fence. Chandler Kelley reached on a hit by pitch to follow the at-bat with Erickson shooting a single through the 6-hole setting the stage for Claassen's roped single past third to plate two more and push the lead back to five.

A two-out walk was all the Broncbusters could get in the eighth as Taylor turned the scorecard back to the Cougars' final inning of at-bats.

Engroff led off the inning with a single and then had the pleasure of jogging the bases as Bonar launched his second long ball of the game for a team leading six dingers.

Nolan Riley closed out the ninth sending the Broncbusters down in order as the bullpen combined for 4.2 innings of work scattering four hits and allowing just one run in helping Repp improve to 4-1 on the Shawnee Heights product's sophomore campaign.

Bonar's 4-of-6 performance with the two doubles and two home runs with four RBI led the fourteen hit Cougar attack. Fowler, Erickson, and Claassen each finished with two hits, as did Billy Coleman, as the Valley Falls freshman collected collegiate firsts on the day in drawing a walk, stealing a base, and getting a hit in finishing 2-for-2 at the dish.