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Barton baseball forces second title game

Reliever Riley saves the day

POSTED May 14, 2018 11:11 p.m.

WICHITA — The No. 13 Barton Cougars forced a winner-take-all trip to the NJCAA World Series with a 16-7 victory over No. 8 Cowley College in Tuesday's first championship game. The Cougars added nine more runs after resuming the game Tuesday morning.

Crafty reliever Nolan Riley worked 2 2/3 innings and preserved the lead by striking out Alex Peterson with the bases loaded to end the seventh inning. 

The winner qualifies for the 2018 NJCAA World Series at Grand Junction Colo.   
The 19th ranked Cougars led 8th ranked Cowley by a 7-3 score in the top of the sixth inning when lightning put the game in a delay. Barton needs to win that game as well as a second game against Cowley to advance to the NJCAA World Series later this month.
Play will resume with Barton’s leadoff batter in the sixth inning at 10 am this morning. A second title game, if needed, would be today at 1 pm.
Prior to the delay Monday, Barton was playing with all the momentum.
“It’s too bad the weather stopped us,” Barton coach Brent Biggs said. “We had the momentum on our side.
“But that is how it goes. We will just have to come back in the morning ready to pick up where we left off.”
After falling behind 3-0 in the bottom of the first, Barton responded immediately. Harrison Denk got Barton on the scoreboard after getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Brett Erickson.
Following a pitching change, Carson Engroff greeted Braden Minor by delivering a shot to center to score Chandler Kelley and Dawson Pomeroy to tie the game at 3-all.
Brett Bonar gave the Cougars their first lead of the game at 4-3 on a single to score Denk.
Barton padded its lead in the fourth. On the heels of an RBI single by Engroff to score Denk, Bonar deposited a fastball over the center field fence to make it a 7-3 Barton lead.
Barton had a couple big moments in the field. First, there was a bases-loaded, 1-out jam the Cougars’ Easton Smith worked out of in the fourth without giving up a run.
The highlight of the night came just before the delay. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Denk, all 5-10 of him, robbed Dalton Dinkel of 2-run home run by leaping and reaching over the 8-foot left field fence to pull in the would-be homer.
Barton 8, Hutchinson 0 – The Cougars used a big third inning in the loser’s bracket final to make their way to the championships contest.
Barton put up six runs in the inning on the way to the 8-0 win over Hutchinson.
After Jared Maneth opened the inning with a single, a couple early throwing errors on bunts opened the floodgates for the Cougars.
By the time the carnage ended, the Cougars sent 12 batters to the plate and scored six runs – five unearned.
Maneth scored on a single by Kelley. A throwing error allowed Paul Claassen and Kelley to score. Harrison Denk came home on a single by Engroff to make it make it 4-0. Brett Erickson drove in Engroff and Pomeroy doubled in Brady Michel to give the Cougars a 6-0 lead.
From there, Drew Repp kept the Blue Dragons at bay on the mound. The sophomore had struggled in recent outings, but was stellar when Barton needed him most.
“Drew was fantastic,” Coach Biggs said. “Once he settled down, he threw about as well as he has all year for us. That was huge.”
Repp threw seven shutout innings allowing just four hits on 96 pitches to help keep some arms fresh for the championship game. This to a team that had scored 44 runs in its three previous games.
Hutch had made it all the way through the loser’s bracket after dropping its first game of the tournament to Cowley. Hutch ends it season at 39-23.
Cowley 6, Barton 5 – Barton fell into the loser’s bracket with a tough loss to Jayhawk East Champion Cowley in the winner’s bracket final Sunday afternoon.
In the battle of the top seeds, Cowley scored single runs in each the seventh and eighth innings to squeak out a 6-5 win over the Cougars.
Barton had taken its first lead of the game with a 4-run outburst in the fifth inning. The Cougars trailed 4-1 heading into the top of the fifth.
Kelley got the scoring rolling with a double to right center that brought home Claassen. Two batters later Engroff tripled home Kelley and Denk to even the game 4-all.
An error on the next batter allowed Engroff to score and Barton had a 5-4 lead the Cougars held until the seventh.
Cowley tied it on a Dalton Dinkel single to score Cross Factor. In the eighth Carson Sader scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Tigers a 6-5 lead into the final inning. Barton did not challenge in its final at bat, going down 1-2-3.

Loser’s Bracket Final
2 Barton 8, 8 Hutch 0
Hutch 000 000 0 – 0 4 3
Barton 006 000 2 – 8 10 1
Summers, Hopkins (3), Philbin (3) and Wolverton; Repp and Bonar. W – Repp (6-3). L – Summers (2-1). 2B – Denk, Pomeroy, Barton. 3B – Schaffer, Hutch.

Winner’s Bracket Final
1 Cowley 6, 2 Barton 5
Barton 001 040 000 – 5 7 3
Cowley 020 200 11x – 6 7 3
Riley, Howe (4), Smith (7) and Bonar; Roach, Wilson (5), Karns (5), Hagen (8), Jordan (8) and Dinkel. W – Jordan (7-1). L – Smith (4-1). 2B – Kelley, Barton; Factor, Cowley. 3B – Engroff, Barton.

Region VI Double-elimination
Friday, May 11
G1 – 14 Seward 10, 6 Colby 0
G2 –2 Barton 8, 7 Johnson 0
G3 – 1 Cowley 6, 8 Hutch 1
G4 – 13 KCK 14, 5 Neosho 6

Saturday, May 12
G5* – 7 Johnson 8, 6 Colby 5 Colby eliminated
G6* – 8 Hutch 20, 5 Neosho 3 Neosho eliminated
G7 – 2 Barton 7, 14 Seward 6
G8 – 1 Cowley 12, 13 KCK 4

Sunday, May 13
G9* – 8 Hutch 12, 14 Seward 8 Seward eliminated
G10* – 7 Johnson 10, 13 KCK 6 KCK elminated
G11 – 1 Cowley 6, 2 Barton 5
G12* – 8 Hutch 12, 7 Johnson 11 Johnson eliminated

Monday, May 14
G13* – 2 Barton 8, 8 Hutch 0 Hutch eliminated
G14 – 2 Barton 7, 1 Cowley 3 (suspended in 6th inning)

Tuesday, May 15
G14 – 1 Cowley (45-9) v 2 Barton (45-13), 10 am resumption of suspended game
G15 – 1 Cowley v 2 Barton, 1 pm if needed
* - elimination game

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