Behind a combined twenty-three strikeouts from the Cougar pitching staff Tuesday at Lawson-Biggs Field, the Barton Community College baseball team took care of the junior varsity squad from Tabor College 8-2 with an 11-0 in a run shortened five innings.
The non-conference pair of wins improves Barton to 15-6 on the season heading into Thursday's first leg of a four-game conference set against Pratt Community College (1-7, 13-10). The 5-3 Cougars will host the first twin bill on Thursday with the series shifting to the Beavers' home turf of Stanion Field on Saturday. First pitch slated for 1:00 p.m. both dates.
Patrick McClure set the tone early and often in the opener, striking out the first two batters before sending the Blue Jays down in order in the second. Finishing with seven strikeouts and just one hit in four innings of work, McClure (2-0) gave way to Clay Wesbrooks for another three strikeouts in the following two innings with Alex Manderino getting out of the seventh in part to chalking up the final of eleven game one strikeouts.
While McClure and the hurlers were shutting the Blue Jays down, the Cougar bats started off a little slow in plating solo runs in the second and third before a trio of runs crossing the dish in each of the fifth and sixth innings.
Braden Carpenter began his three RBI game, plating the first in a hit-behind-the-runner groundout to first base in getting Barton on the board.
Noah Geekie, who would later make his pitching debut in game two, began the fourth inning with his fifth double of the year before swiping third base and scoring on Stewart's sac fly. Carpenter laced a single to right for the second run with Ferguson completing his 3-for-3 game with an RBI single.
Geekie, Riley Stewart produced one-out singles in the sixth with Zenger driving two home on a double with Carpenter driving in the next to close out the scoring.
The Blue Jays strung four consecutive singles on Wesbrooks in the top of the seventh as Ben Johnsen and Tony Trujillo each drove in runs. Wesbrooks got out of the inning on a force out, a strikeout, and a come-backer to the mound to end the contest.
Ferguson's perfect three plate appearances were joined by four others in a multi-hit game with Carpenter leading the RBI production with three as Stewart and Zenger each drove in two.
As masterful as McClure was in game one, Geekie shed the left field position in taking the mound for game two for a superb performance. The freshman lefty literally mowed down his nine batters faced, striking out five of seven swinging while only allowing a fisted pop-up and grounder to second base the only balls put into play.
Also staying in the lineup in the combo pitcher/desiginated hitter slot following a 1-for-2 game one, Geekie helped his cause in the home half of the first hustling out a double to score three pitches later on Riley's first of two doubles on the afternoon.
Coming up empty in his two official plate appearance of the opener, nine-hole hitter Billy Coleman had consecutive RBI innings, a single in the second and a double in the third helping the Cougars increase their lead. Stewart followed driving in Barton's second run of the second frame lacing the first pitch into left field.
Riley pounded out his third extra base hit of the afternoon on a double to lead off the third, scooting home on Ferguson's RBI triple to center with Wulfkuhle driving a hot shot single to right center in advancing to third on a two base fielding error.
Adam Schrag followed in the game two lineup with collegiate firsts, getting plunked for the first time coming in the second inning before delivering his first RBI occuring in the third inning. An out later and stealing his first base to get into scoring position, Schrag would score on the next pitch as Coleman hustled out the run producing double capping the four run frame.
Two walks to open the fourth set up another big inning with Zenger driving in two and Schrag driving in the other before Chandler Bloomer closed out the scoring on a sac fly.
With Geekie off the hill, Tabor made a little noise to start the fourth with consecutive singles on Coleton Crisp. Striking out the next Blue Jay, Crisp then executed a perfect back-pick play with Stewart to erase the lead runner before chalking up his second K to end the inning.
Brett Winkelmann pitched a perfect final fifth inning, needing just eleven pitches to send the Blue Jays down on three straight strikeouts raising the team's strikeout game two total to twelve.
Riley, Schrag, and Coleman led the Cougars' thirteen hits in game two with Schrag and Coleman joined by Zenger for a team high two runs batted in each.