The Barton Community College baseball team's debut in the Alpine Bank JUCO World Series didn't go the way it had hoped as the 20th ranked Cougars fell 11-2 to 8th ranked Jefferson College late Saturday afternoon in Grand Junction, Colorado. The loss puts the 47-14 Cougars on the elimination side of the bracket, returning to Suplizio Field in Sunday's 8:30 p.m. (Central Time) against the defending national champions Chipola College who lost 8-6 to No. 1 ranked Walters State Saturday evening. Jefferson (53-9) will take on Walters State in Monday's 10:00 a.m. winner's bracket contest.
The Vikings came up with big hits throughout the night, driving in eight of their eleven runs with two outs in the innings. Piling up fifteen hits with all starters but one getting a hit, the Vikings' opportune hits countered twelve strikeouts by a combined four Barton pitchers.
Jefferson's Matt Turino put the Vikings out front on the fourth pitch off Barton ace hurler Josh Hendrickson (11-3) drilling a 1-2 pitch just over the right field wall.
Third baseman Dawson Pomeroy tied the game in the home half of the third going opposite field with a deep left field fly for the Topeka sophomore's fifth long ball of the year.
The Vikings answered with a pair of two run innings, both coming on two outs, with the big two-run demoralizer coming in the fifth on Joey Polak's 31st home run of the season deep to right field to push the Jefferson lead out to 5-1.
Barton was able to cut the deficit back to three in the home half of the fifth with Pomeroy single being followed by Paul Claassen's 12th two-bagger of the season, coming on double down the right field line setting up a fielder's choice RBI chopper up the middle by Harrison Denk.
Following a scoreless sixth, Jefferson added another to their lead on a two-out single before chalking up another three in the eight including a capping two-out RBI single. The Vikings closed out their at-bats in the ninth with another big two-out hit to drive in the final two runs.
The Cougars mustered seven hits with Pomeroy's two leading the way as the Vikings' Jason Rackers struck out eight in his eight innings of work improving to 11-1 on the year.
Fans unable to make the trip can follow the Cougars with Doug Bender play-by-play on local radio 107.9FM or streaming online courtesy of Rocking M Media. The JUCO World Series and NJCAA TV will be providing live stats and video broadcasting of all tournament games. For complete coverage links of Barton's run in the tournament, visit BartonSports.com or visit the official Alpine Bank JUCO World Series web site. Additionally, behind the scenes photos and videos can be found following the Cougars through social media, search "BartonSports" on Facebook and/or Twitter.