The Barton Community College baseball team connected on just eight hits Saturday at Colby Community College sending the Cougars to a pair of 9-6 and 3-2 losses.
Despite the defeats, the Cougars remain in the hunt for a Jayhawk West title, sliding just behind Hutchinson at 12-8 and 25-12 on the year while Colby moves within one game in the loss column of the top improving to 9-7 and 22-12.
With a late cancellation of Tuesday's non-conference game versus McCook Community College, Barton will have a few extra days to regroup before a four-game conference series vs Cloud County Community College beginning with the first leg at 1:00 p.m. Thursday in Concordia.
Game One Recap
Trailing by one following a Colby sac fly in the home half of the second, the Cougars took the lead in the third on an RBI double by Andrew Stewart, scoring one pitch later on Noah Geekie's single to left. Brett Erickson delivered with two outs in the inning lacing a single up the middle to drive in Geekie putting the Cougars out front 3-1.
The lead was the last for Barton as Colby hit two of their three home runs in the game as back-to-back deep flies plated a one-out single for a 4-3 lead.
A bases loaded single to begin the fifth tacked on another with a sixth inning loaded bases creating problems resulting in a run crossing on a fielder's choice before a three-run shot put Barton into a six run hole to the final frame.
Jake Skala took the first loss of the freshman's campaign on the hill falling to 4-1 on the year as the Cougars could muster just five scattered hits in the game.
Game Two Recap
Barton's hitting woes continued into game two, collecting just three hits in the nine innings but very much in the thick of victory via key defensive plays and a combined pitching staff effort.
Steward helped produced Barton's first inning lone run, drawing a walk before swiping his seventh bag of the year to later score on an infield error.
A one-out triple and RBI single tied it in the third but two innings later Barton went back ahead with a solo run. Denk led off the frame getting plunked by a pitch then stole second to score on Geekie's one-out drive to right field.
A leadoff double and walk followed by a one-out walk loaded the bases on starting hurler Easton Young, getting the final two outs but not before a Colby sac fly knotted the contest back up at two apiece.
Each team turned a double play in the next four and half innings with the Cougars' appearing to escape a leadoff single and walk in the bottom of the ninth on a fly out/runner leaving early pair of outs swing. Not going down so easy, the Trojans sent a single up the middle on reliever Coleton Crisp with Geekie called to the mound trying to extinguish the flame. Spotting Jacob Bouzide a 3-1 count, Geekie came back firing but Bouzide fouled off three consecutive pitches before finding grass in right field to drive home the game winner.
Crisp took the loss in an otherwise solid four innings of middle relief in slipping to 2-3 on the year.