Taking game one Sunday afternoon in Colby behind a ten-run frame for a 14-4 run shortened five innings, the 18th ranked Barton Community College baseball team clinched its sixth straight series victory. In seeking its first conference sweep of the season, the Cougars came up short as Colby Community College snapped Barton's six game win streak with a five-run sixth inning for an 8-6 series finale victory to salvage the day's split. The day's action leaves the Cougars four games up in the conference race at 18-6 and 34-9 on the season while Colby stands in a fourth place tie with Hutchinson at 13-11 and 23-20 overall.
In a short turnaround, Barton will begin a big week with a non-conference game on Monday at 6:00 p.m. hosting Sterling College JV before a pivotal conference series on Thursday in hosting second place Cloud County Community College.
The Cougars buried the Trojans in game one behind eight extra base hits including three balls leaving the park. Leadoff doubles in the first two frames by Harrison Denk and Brady Michel set the tone leading to solo run putting Barton out front 2-0.
Colby connected on both of their extra base hits in the same inning, with both leaving the yard getting a leadoff home run followed by another solo shot one out later to tie it up.
Barton compounded the Trojans' three errors in the third inning putting a ten spot on the scoreboard to take a semi commanding lead on a windy day at Young Memorial Field. The first big blow came from Brett Bonar launching his 8th of the season for a three-run shot. After the Cougars loaded the bases which included Brett Erickson connecting on his 11th double of the year, Barton exploded the lead in a hurry off the bat sophomore Paul Claassen as the Whitewater, Kansas, native connected on his first collegiate home run in grand style to clear the bases.
The Cougars weren't resting on the seven run lead as Carson Engroff drove in another on a RBI single with Bonar concluding his five RBI inning with his 17th double of the year driving in two more runs.
The Trojans countered with two runs in the home half on an RBI single and sac fly but following a Dawson Pomeroy one-out walk, Brett Huelsmann connected on his first pitch for his second home run of the year putting Barton back to the magic ten-run rule margin.
Zach Curry struck out five in going the complete five innings to improve the Ottawa, Kansas, freshman to 4-0 on the mound.
Colby used one of their three long balls in the nightcap to take an early one run lead as Nolan Riley's second pitch left the yard to left field.
The Cougars got the runs back in their second at-bat with Pomeroy's first of two hits pushing across the tying run as Michel had reached on an error to begin the inning. Along with Pomeroy's two hit in game two, Erickson preceded Pomeroy with a single as the two would score eventually in the innings with on a wild pitch giving Barton a 3-1 lead.
Riley kept the Trojans off the board the next four innings with a down in order home half of the second and fifth, inducing a 6-4-3 double play (Claassen-Erickson-Engroff) in the third, and pitching out of two runner jam in the fourth.
The Cougar bats briefly came back to life in the sixth on back-to-back jacks to lead off the inning with Engroff connecting on his third of season while Bonar's second of day tallied up the 9th of the Rose Hill, Kansas, native's season.
An infield error and single began the Colby home half with a three-run long ball coming with one out to slice the deficit to one. With an ensuing double chasing Riley from the mound, the Trojans greeted reliever Tanner Howe with a single before a walk loaded the bases. Howe induced a foul pop-up for the innings second out but after a call to the bull pen again, the Trojans took the 6-5 lead with a two-run double off of Casey Wulfkuhle.
Two hit by pitches on Huelsmann and Engroff on either side of a Kaden Fowler single loaded the bases with two outs but the Bonar's liner to right field was robbed by a great diving catch by Colby second baseman Jacob Bouzide to end the threat.
Wulfkuhle looked to be getting out of the home half of the seventh striking out two after a leadoff single but a 1-2 pitch too close to the zone was sent out of the park for the Trojans' third home run of the game for an 8-5 lead.
A lone run in the last two innings were all Barton could produce as Denk's drive to the right center gap for his third triple of the year would trot home on Pomeroy's sacrifice fly.
Howe took the loss on the mound dropping to 3-2 on the year.
Bonar and Erickson collected three hits each in the eighteen Cougar hits on the day with Bonar leading in RBI's with six in taking over the team lead with 51 on the year.