Rallying from a three-run deficit, the 19th ranked Barton Community College baseball team came from behind for a 7-5 victory over Seward County Community College on Saturday at Wichita's Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The victory improves the Cougars to 44-12 in advancing to Sunday's 4:00 p.m. winner's bracket finals against No. 8 ranked Cowley College (44-9). Seward County drops to 30-29 and will play in Sunday's 10:00 a.m. elimination game against Hutchinson Community College.
Brett Erickson was one of three Cougars to collect multi-hits in the contest, getting the first to lead off the fifth, scoring on a Paul Claassen sacrifice fly as Barton had been essentially stifled by the Saint's Cole Evans through the first five innings.
Carsen Engroff cut the deficit to one in the ensuing inning driving in Kaden Fowler's leadoff walk belting a 3-2 pitch to left field. Brett Bonar chased Evans on the next at-bat to bring Jordan Pepper out of the Saints bullpen. Fighting off a 0-2 count with a ball and foul, Brady Michel quickly changed the scoreboard leader with a towering blast to left field for the Great Bend native's eight home run of the season in giving Barton the 5-3 advantage.
Tanner Howe relieved Zach Curry on the mound after a leadoff single in the seventh, getting a clutch defensive play from third baseman Dawson Pomeroy in starting a 5-4-3 double play before striking out the final batter to end the threat.
The Cougars went quiet in the home half sending Howe back to the mound getting a fly out before a single followed by a two-run Spencer Sackett homerun tied the game back up. Patrick McClure came in to get an out then Easton Smith ended the inning with a strikeout after the Saints threatened with a two-out double.
Bonar picked up his second hit of the contest with a leadoff single before scoring on Erickson's 14th double of the year with a one out drive down the left field line for the game winner. Pomeroy, who would take over on the mound for the ninth, gave himself an insurance run driving a single up the box pushing the Cougar lead to two.
The Cougars helped the Saints make things interesting in the final frame, giving Seward County new life following a Pomeroy strikeout to commit a throwing error. Pomeroy struck out the next batter for the second out but Seward County kept fighting in stringing a pair of singles to load the base paths before coming up empty on the third strikeout of the inning.
Smith picked up the victory in his third of an inning work improving to 4-0 on the year with Pomeroy earning his fourth save of the Topeka sophomore's season.