The Barton Community College baseball team plated four runs in the top of the tenth Friday for a 7-3 victory to sweep its best-of-three series at Kansas City Kansas Community College in the opening round of the Region VI playoffs.
Like a day prior, the Cougars took an early lead but needed a rally in trailing by two, scoring solo runs in the fifth and eighth to force extra frames where Barton sent four across the dish to avenge a 2016 season ender on the Blue Devils turf.
Advancing to the Region's final eight for the third straight season, the defending champions improve to 35-20 overall while ending the Blue Devil's season at 39-16.
Seeded sixth, the Cougars will play the 10:00 a.m. Wednesday game at Wichita's Eck Stadium against 3rd seeded Butler Community College. The Grizzlies, who finished tied atop the Jayhawk West standings at 22-10, improved to 39-17 on the Sunday in the completion of a two-game sweep hosting 14th seeded Neosho County Community College.
After KCK threatened with two aboard in the home half, the Blue Devils got the equalizer in the second as their leadoff hit would score later in the inning on a two-out perfectly placed bunt single.
The Blue Devils would also get their leadoff aboard in the ensuing third, adding a one-out single to put runners at the corners before another executed bunt pushed acorss the go-ahead run. Another single followed driving in the second of the frame with an ensuing walk ending the day of Easton Smith with the Cougars trailing by two.
Jacob Ensz came in to the final out, working the next three innings before combining with Clay Wesbrooks, Patrick McClure, and Coleton Crisp to keep the Blue Devils scoreless on three scattering hits in the final 6.1 frames of the game.
Belting a trio of two-bag hits in five plate appearances, Noah Geekie cut the deficit to one in the fifth on a clutch two-out turf scorcher down the third base line for the run producing double to plate Denk who was hit by pitch on a 3-0 pitch to extend the inning.
Geekie struck again roping a double down the left field line to lead off the eight, advancing ninety feet on Chandler Bloomers ground out to cross the dish for the tying run on Charlie Peyla's ground out.
The Cougars exploded in the extra frame with three straight hits and two runs scored before KCK could record the first out. Geekie again got the hit parade rolling with his third 180-ft hit in scoring the eventual game winning on Bloomer's RBI single. Peyla doubled up the margin with the Cougars' fourth two-base hit by peppering the left field line to score later following Nolan Riley's single and Brett Erickson's executed squeeze bunt. Barton put the final touches on the four run frame with Stewart following pinch hitter Billy Coleman's walk with a sac fly.
Crisp sent the Blue Devils down in order in the home half to secure the win, improving to 3-5 on the year keeping Barton's region title defense still alive.