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Cougars squander seven run lead, lose second consecutive game on last at-bat

The Cougars jumped on the Lakers for five first inning runs highlighted by Tito Andino's two RBI triple to center.  Alex King had led off the inning scoring on a Dylan Turpin single to center to give the Cougars the 1-0 lead.  After a Braxton Byfield fielder's choice to score Erik Benson who had drawn a walk two batter earlier, Andino drove a 3-2 pitch to the centerfield wall increasing the lead to four.  A Scott Tyler single to right scored Andino to cap the Barton five run inning.

Jared Yarberry's one out triple to center helped the Lakers score one in the first scoring on Brandon Dulin's single to right.

King led off the Barton second inning with a double to left then was followed by Pete Ruiz drawing a walk.  After an Erik Benson sacrifice moved King and Ruiz, Aaron Gile doubled to center to plate two as Barton increased their lead to 7-1.

The Cougars added another in the third as Andino set the stage leading off the inning with a double to right field, his second multi-base hit of the game in as many at-bats.  After a Tyler ground out advanced Andino to third, Nate Train came through with the RBI sacrifice fly to push the lead out to 8-1. 

MCC-Longview chipped into the Cougar lead in the home half of the third as Dylan Farrell tripled home Yarberry then scored on a Dulin line drive to left field.

The game's momentum shifted further in the fourth as the Cougars were unable to shut the door as the Lakers struck for three runs with two outs to narrow the Barton lead to 8-6. 

Following an Andino single and Tyler reaching courtesy of a Laker error, Train grounded out to shortstop allowing Andino to score to increase the Cougar lead back out to 9-6.

Michael Johnson replaced Barton starter Andrew Ferguson for the fifth inning getting a leadoff strikeout to begin the inning.  It would be the last out by Johnson as the freshman lefthander gave up four consecutive walks to force in a run and reduce the lead to 9-7.

Blaine Hill replaced Johnson and was greeted by a Yarberry three-run double giving the Lakers their first lead of the game.  After two wild pitches allowing Yarberry to score and a hit batsman, Barton skipper Mike Warren again went to the bullpen bringing in Michael Turner to end the threat and get out of the inning down 11-9.

The Cougars benefitted in the top of the sixth drawing consecutive walks by Benson and Gile then capitalizing on a Laker error to cut the deficit to one.  Byfield then followed with a sacrifice fly to score Gile tying the game at eleven apiece.  Andino, who came to the plate needing a homerun to hit for the cycle, nearly made it happen hitting the first pitch he saw off the centerfield fence for a RBI triple to regain the lead for the Cougars at 12-11. 

MCC-Longview would answer the Cougars tying the game in the home half as Stephen Montisano's single up the middle drove home Ian Barker who tripled to center one batter earlier.

With the Cougars going down in order in the top of the seventh, Farrell led off the Laker seventh with a double to left field.  Intentionally walking Dulin to set up the force, Turner then walked Jared Gage on four pitches causing Coach Warren to bring in Devin Welch to close the door.  Welch struck out the first batter he faced but the Cougars couldn't prevent a Tanner Homan fielder's choice from scoring Farrell with the game winning run.

Turner took the loss for Barton dropping to 1-2 on the season pitching 1.2 innings giving up two runs despite striking out three.  Brett Valentine's one inning of no hit work earned his first win of the year for the Lakers.