The thrill of a walk-off was followed with the disappointment of a doubleheader split as the Barton Community College baseball team celebrated a 1-0 ten inning victory as a 5-1 loss followed in splitting Thursday's pair of games against Colby Community College.
The day's results leave the Cougars still atop the Jayhawk West standings by a half game with three other teams also having six losses as Barton's mark goes to 12-6 and 25-10 overall. Colby remains in the fifth spot at 7-7 and 20-12 overall. The four-game series now shifts to Colby for a pair of games in a 1:00 p.m. first pitch.
Game One Recap
An expected pitcher's duel ensued between the Cougars' Zach Curry and the heralded Logan Hoffman for the Trojans as the pair combined for thirteen strikeouts and just five hits through the intended seven innings of the game one doubleheader.
Barton had the best opportunities to take the early lead, stranding sophomore Brett Erickson's first triple of the season with one out in the bottom of the second and threatening again in the fourth in stranding Noah Geekie's leadoff single and Erickson's two-out single.
Colby's best opportunity came in the seventh as a one-out walk and hit-by-pitch were left on the paths courtesy of Curry's seventh strikeout and a pop-up to Erickson in the infield.
The Cougars went to the bullpen for the extra eighth inning, halting Curry at the 103 pitch count and seven strikeouts with the two walks. Joe Richter seized the eighth with the Cougars coming up with one of many big plays in the game including cutting down a runner-up at the plate after a bobbled cut-off with Andrew Stewart firing to Noah Rheinheimer guarding the plate.
A ninth inning leadoff single and pop-up signaled a call to the bullpen to Jacob Ensz but after another single, another switch brought in Coleton Crisp. Inducing a ground ball, the 6-4 duo up the middle of Stewart and Erickson rolled through the exchange with Nolan Riley on the stretch at the bag to just beat the runner escaping the inning keeping the game scoreless.
Hoffman worked out a runner at second jam in the bottom of the ninth but a 1-2-3 send down by Crisp in the tenth sent Hoffman back to the mound with 110 pitches under his belt.
Rheinheimer got the Cougar bench juiced with a one-out double finding the turf in right field, returning to the bench as pinch runner Chandler Kelley took his spot on the bad. A fly out resulting in the Cougars down to their final out, Stewart laced his second hit of the game into left field as the speedy Kelley would cross the home dish for the winning run.
Crisp's 1.2 innings of relief earned the win with Rheinheimer joining Erickson with the multi-hit hit game as the pair accounted for four of the Cougars' seven hits with Colby finishing with just five.
The inning also signaled a frustrating six-plus innings ahead as Barton couldn't produce another big hit in the frame in stranding Geekie's single in front of Riley in the lineup.
Trouble came Smith's way in the ensuing second with a one-out double being joined on the bases by consecutive walks. The Trojans produced its needed hit driving a double into the outfield on a full-count pitch for the eventual game winning run in gaining the 2-1 lead.
Barton had a chance in the home half behind a Chandler Bloomer's first of two hits, leading off the frame and moving into second on Adam Schrag's sacrifice. Rheinheimer joined the base running club but the Trojans' Peyton Ingalls escaped the jammed with a ground and fly out.
Both pitchers worked perfect third frames but the Trojans picked up an insurance run in the fourth as consecutive singles leading off the inning set up an RBI groundout for the second out.
Erickson led off the home half of the inning with his second extra base hit of the doubleheader, a double to left but again Ingalls thwarted the scoring opportunity with a strikeout out and two fly outs.
A one out double chased Smith in the fifth as the Trojans' Matt Coutney greeted reliever Ensz' first pitch with a home run over the right field wall for a 5-1 Colby lead.
Barton produced good scoring opportunities in their final nine outs, getting a one-out Stewart double and Geekie hit-by-pitch in the fifth and Denk's second double of the contest with one away in the ninth but just became a statistic to be included in the eight left on base.
Smith took the loss falling to 4-2 on the season in his 4.1 innings on the hill. Clay Wesbrooks relieved Ensz for the final two innings in becoming the sixth Cougar pitcher in the day's seventeen innings.
Colby utilized just their two starters during the afternoon with Hoffman dropping to 4-3 on the year and Ingalls improving to 3-2.