The Barton Community College baseball team stepped out of conference play Tuesday making a mid-week trip to Lindsborg earning a pair of victories over the junior varsity of Bethany College.
Scoring seven unanswered to win game one 7-2, four pitchers combined to allow just four hits in the nightcap's seven innings to earn a 3-0 shutout.
Falling out of the latest top twenty national poll, the still receiving votes Cougars improved to 24-9 on the season. Barton will begin a four-game series with Colby Community College on Thursday as the 11-5 Cougars will be looking to hold on to the first place spot with the fifth place Trojans just a game behind in the loss column at 6-6 and a solid 19-11 overall record. First pitch at Lawson-Biggs Field slated for 1:00 p.m.
Game One Recap
Brett Winkelmann's second career start began with a strikeout but a one-out single and two walks loading the bases would set up an early Swede run as Barton's lone error of the contest allowed a run to cross.
A leadoff walk would chase Winkelmann in the second, with Patrick McClure taking the reins into the third until a leadoff walk and two singles pushed the Bethany lead out to 2-0. Casey Wulfkuhle came out of the pen to extinguish the fire, scattering just two hits over the remaining five innings to record his first victory of the year (1-0).
The ensuing top of the fourth the Cougars produced enough offense to grab the lead. Nolan Riley got the frame rolling with a leadoff single and following a Charlie Peyla walk, Brett Erickson laid down a perfect bunt single to load the sacks full. Making the start at third base, Adam Schrag put the Cougars on the board with a deep sac fly down the left field line. A Trenton Ferguson walk would reload the bases with runs coming across on Billy Coleman's fielder's choice and Andrew Stewart's RBI single.
Barton added runs in each of the last four frames, following the three run fourth with solo runs in the fifth and seventh with a two-spot lighting up the board in the sixth.
Erickson, would lead the Cougars' nine hits with four in as many plate appearances, drove the solo run across the plate in the fifth then led off the seventh with his final hit in scoring after a wild pitch and Noah Rheinheimer's RBI single.
Barton loaded the bases for the third time of the contest in the sixth inning as Ferguson's leadoff single was joined by Billy Coleman getting plunked and Stewart drawing a walk. The Cougars pushed a run across at the expense of a double-play ball with the second scooting across the dish on a wild pitch.
Game Two Recap
Stewart collected the first of his team leading two of Barton's five hits in the first inning, eventually scoring on a two-out Carson Zenger drive up the middle.
Jacob Ensz was the first of four pitchers to command the mound, working four innings in scattering three hits and striking out four in keeping the Swedes off-balance to protect the slim margin.
A wild pitch on a third strike pitch began the Barton fifth inning as Micah Grover made the most of the opportunity in swiping two bases. Braden Carpenter joined him on the base paths after fouling off two 2-2 pitches to eventually reach base on a full-count hit by pitch. Once aboard Carpenter got to second on Grover's swipe of the third as the duo would score as next in line Chandler Kelley roped a single to left field pushing the Barton lead to 3-0.
Clay Wesbrooks, Cade Peters, and Tanner Howe shut down any hope for Bethany in the final three innings, each pitching a frame in surrendering a combined lone hit, no walks, and four strikeouts including Howe's slamming the door in the home half of the seventh punching out two of the three batters.