The No. 18 ranked Barton Community College baseball team split Thursday's conference doubleheader hosting Seward County Community College as the Cougars took game one 6-2 but three home runs led the Saints' 7-4 victory in snapping a six game losing streak at Lawson-Biggs Field.
The day's results leave Barton at 13-5 in Jayhawk play and 28-8 overall while Seward County stands at 6-12 and 18-20 on the year. Weather permitting, the teams are scheduled to resume the back-end of the four-game series at 1:00 p.m. Saturday in Liberal.
Josh Hendrickson would get the game one win improving to 7-1 on the year but the game didn't start off well as a leadoff single, wild pitch, RBI single, infield error, and sacrifice fly put the Cougars in a two-run first inning hole.
Striking out nine in his six innings of work, Hendrickson allowed just three more hits the rest of the way as the Cougar offense would get warmed up the second time around the batting order.
The Cougars took over the lead in following inning with Brett Erickson's reach on error began the inning with Jared Maneth following with a single. No. 9 hole Paul Claassen then showed off the power stick sending a 1-1 pitch to deep straight away center for a Barton 3-2 advantage.
Three more runs would be tacked on the home frame of the fifth inning as the Cougars' third straight inning of runs built the lead to the final 6-2 margin. Brett Bonar's one out single for his second hit of the game would be followed by Brady Michel's second hit coming on an 0-2 pitch being launched to deep right center in matching Claassen with two triples each on the season. Erickson was put on base by hit by pitch, Maneth sac fly drove in Michel, and following Erickson's second stolen base of the game and team leading tenth of the year, Dawson Pomeroy capped the scoring with an RBI single to left.
Tanner Howe closed out the game taking over in the seventh sending the Saints down in order to complete Barton's sixth straight home win over Seward County.
Game two starter Andrew Repp send the Saints down in order again to begin the night cap with Barton taking a 1-0 lead just two batters into the home half with Denk drawing a walk and Fowler hitting his second double of the day and team leading 18th of the year for the RBI.
Repp and the Cougars looked to be headed for its second straight quick inning as a leadoff single was erased on a Pomeroy to Erickson to Engroff's big time scoop at first to roll up a 5-4-3 double play. Up on the count 1-2, Repp's next pitch was out of the zone but the fifth found the centerfield wall as Cayde Ward extended the inning with a double. A 3-2 count at-bat later, Cruz Shope drilled a shot down the left field line and suddenly the Saints were ahead. Two pitches later and the lead grew by one as Benny Ayala also found the grass beyond the left field wall with the Saints putting three on the board with two outs.
Neither team could crack the scoreboard through the next four innings as each team received big time plays from the defense and each converting double plays to escape an inning.
The game picked back up in the seventh inning scheduled for nine as Jordan Kennedy led off the inning as Easton Smith took over on the mound for Repp. Two outs later and getting ahead on the count 0-2, Smith couldn't get the punch out pitch and Dylan Paul made him pay driving a 2-2 pitch over the right center wall for the two run home run.
Barton appeared headed for a big inning in the home half as Michel led off with his 17th two bagger of the year with Erickson connecting on his 10th of the season with the RBI liner to left field. Eventual winning hurler Cole Evans (5-2) would get the next three outs as the lone run was all the Cougars could score.
Smith quickly put his teammates back on the offensive with a 1-2-3 inning with Denk's' leadoff walk ending Evans' day on the hill. Brooks Williams took over but a Fowler walk and Engroff getting hit by a pitch signaled another call to the bullpen with West Reddell inheriting bases loaded with no one out. Two pitches later and Barton was within one as Bonar drilled his second hit of the game with a two RBI liner to left. Unfortunately for Cougars fans it would be all that would light up the scoreboard as Riddell induced consecutive infield pop ups before striking the final batter to keep Seward County on the top side of a 5-4 score to the ninth inning.
Pomeroy took over the Cougar mound for the final frame surrendering a four pitch walk before a controversial hit by pitch put the first two batters aboard. Brendan Madsen drove in one with a single up the middle with Paul driving in another insurance run on a right field single.
The Cougars made some noise in the final half of the game with Pomeroy collecting his second hit and Denk sending a scorcher up the middle but Reddell again shut the door on a potential rally with a strikeout and ground out to earn his first save of the season.
Repp took the loss dropping to 5-2 on the season going six innings surrendering just the three second frame runs.
Bonar led the Cougars in the double-dip going 2-for-4 in each contest as the Saints outhit Barton 20-18 in the doubleheader.