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Barton Baseball closes out home slate with split; Defending champions to hit the road for Region VI playoffs #GoBarton #RoarCougs

Barton baseball outfielder Chandler Kelley fields a ground ball

The Barton Community College baseball team concluded the regular season and its home turf campaign with a doubleheader split Saturday with Dodge City Community College as the Cougars took the opener 5-2 but fell 4-1 in the nightcap.

The results leave Barton at 17-15 in a tie for fifth place of the Jayhawk West slate and 33-20 overall while Dodge City concludes the season in ninth place at 8-24 and 26-28 on the year.

Coming on the short end of a tie breaker, Barton will have the sixth seed in traveling to the East's third seed Kansas City Kansas Community College (23-9, 39-14) to begin its defense of the Region VI Championship May 10-11 in a best-of-three series.

Game One Recap
The region's second best ERA pitching staff kept the Cougars in both games, led by the complete game one effort of Tanner Howe and the nightcap's relief effort of Joe Richter and Coleton Crisp.

Howe scattered just five hits in his seven innings while striking out a career high six in his ever growing program record 50th game appearance improving to 3-1 on the year.

Dodge City extended the second frame with a single to the outfield in scoring a one-out walk as a Cougar error allowed the unearned run to score.

The Cougars answered in the home half of the third inning, loading the bases on hits by Brett Erickson and Andrew Stewart before Harrison Denk joined the sacks by drawing a walk. One batter later Noah Geekie wiped them clean with a three-run double with Chandler Bloomer capping the four-run frame with an RBI single to center.

A pair of singles on either side of walk booked the bases full in the Conqs' ensuing fourth but Howe escaped the big inning in only allowing a sacrifice fly before striking out the final two batters.

Chandler Kelley's sac bunt RBI got the run back in the bottom of the frame to score Tyler Bandiera who had singled, stole second, and moved to third on Erickson's second hit of the contest.

Game Two Recap
A two-out RBI single put the Conqs up early in game two with the big inning coming in the third on a three-run home run putting Barton in a 4-0 hole.

The score remained through the bottom of the eighth with Geekie breaking the goose egg with a solo shot to left for the second of the freshman's season.
Patrick McClure took his first loss of the season dropping to 3-1 on the season in being relieved by Richter in the fourth to strikeout the final batter.

Richter threw four more innings of just two hits with Crisp pitching a scoreless ninth in striking out two in the frame.