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Rally for the walk-off salvages #11 Barton Baseball split with Garden City #GoBarton

Barton Baseball dugout cheering

In a stark contrast to Thursday's action in Garden City, the back-end of the four-game series switching to Lawson'-Biggs Field was anything the slugfest rout the Cougars enjoyed previously. Instead, the No. 11 ranked Barton Community College baseball team dropped the first game in a pitching duel before rallying for a tenth inning walk-off to salvage the day's twin bill with Garden City Community College. The results leave the Cougars at 6-2 in Jayhawk play and 20-5 on the season while Garden City sits at 4-8 and 16-14 overall. Barton will next begin a four-game series with Hutchinson Community College, beginning with a Thursday 1:00 p.m. first pitch at Lawson-Biggs Field before moving to Hutchinson for the final two games on Saturday.

The Cougars took the early lead in the opener getting a Dawson Pomeroy walk to lead off. An out and a Carson Engroff single later, Brett Bonar's sacrifice fly gave Barton hurler Jarrett Seaton the one run lead.

A one-out walk and fielder's choice set up Garden City's third inning tying run as Corbin Truslow lined an RBI double to center and one pitch later Tyrus Barclay gave the Broncbusters the lead on an RBI single.

Getting two of the Cougars' five hits in the opener, Trenton Ferguson singled with one out in the fourth before swiping his first collegiate stolen base to get into scoring position. One out later Chandler Kelley's double to right knotted the game at two apiece.

A walk and sacrifice bunt put Garden City in scoring position moving on to the top of the fifth, with Seaton getting a groundout but a wild pitch allowed the Broncbusters to score the eventual game winner.

Both bullpens dominated the rest of the action as Easton Smith pitched the final 2.1 of two-hit scoreless action but the offense just couldn't produce against Garden City's Eric Heiman and Nick Lossi sending Seaton to 2-3 on the season.

Garden City took a one run lead in the second inning of the nightcap getting a one-out triple across the plate on a groundout RBI.

The lead ballooned to five the following inning as a hit by pitch and single immediately put Broncbusters on the bases to begin the third. A sacrifice bunt, RBI groundout, and single produced the first two across the plate with a walk and two-run RBI double staking Garden City out to a 5-0 lead.

Barton began to chip away at the lead taking advantage of two Garden City errors to score one in the home half before Brett Erickson's fourth inning leadoff double scoring on Paul Claassen's one-out single cut the deficit to three.

Following a scoreless fifth, Barton again took advantage of Broncbuster miscue as Erickson's reach on error to lead off the sixth would score following one-out singles by Claassen and Kelley's RBI single up the middle.

The Cougars continued to chip away in the seventh, as rally was the theme of the day, with Jared Maneth's double to left extending the inning. A 2-1 pitch later and Erickson drove in Maneth drawing Barton to within 5-4.

As Tanner Howe, Patrick McClure, and Nolan Riley combining to shut down the Broncbusters for 2.1 innings, Garden City stayed the course earning a leadoff walk, sacrificing to second with Riley getting a ground out to end his day. Pomeroy took over on the mound but couldn't get the 3-2 punch out in allowing a walk to extend the inning as Clint Allen pushed the Broncbuster lead back to two with a single to center.

Following a quick 1-2-3 Barton home half of the eighth, Pomeroy was in a two-on one-out jam following a single and hit by pitch but the Topeka sophomore mowed down the final two batters to strikeout out the side giving Barton a glimmer of hope headed to the final frame.

Kaden Fowler's leadoff double ignited the Barton bench with Carson Engroff getting the biggest of his three nightcap hits in beating out a grounder deep in the six hole. Bonar's fielder's choice plated Fowler to draw the Cougars to within one with Isiah Perez and Erickson drawing walks to load the bases. In what was one of the biggest at-bats in the eventual comeback, Billy Coleman fought off a two-strike pitch twice before wearing a 2-2 pitch for the game tying RBI. With the good sized crowd in attendance on their feet and enthusiastic Cougar bench looking for the victory, the volume quickly went silent as the Broncbuster defense rolled up a tailor made 6-4-3 double play to end the threat and send the game to extra innings.

Garden City got the leadoff aboard on a single to center but Pomeroy got the next three down in order to turn the page back to the Cougar bats.

Two Cougars went down on eight pitches as Barton was down to their final out but leading hitter Fowler once again stepped up as the El Dorado sophomore hustled down the line to beat out an infield single. Casey Wulfkuhle then fought off a 3-2 pitch to draw a walk with Bonar working a five pitch walk to load the bases. Facing a 2-2 count, Perez held steady on the next pitch out of the zone then kept the keen eye in tact as the 3-2 pitch broke too tight inside sending the Larned freshman to first base as Fowler crossed the dished in the walk-off sending the Barton bench spilling onto to the field celebrating the doubleheader split.

Pomeroy's 2.1 innings of pressure packed four strikeout and three hit performance improved the Shawnee Heights product record to 2-1 on the year.

Engroff's three hits led the Cougars to a 12-9 hitting advantage as Fowler was joined by Erickson and Claassen in the two hit club.