EL DORADO – Close was the theme of the day at McDonald Park Saturday afternoon.
The Jayhawk West baseball season got underway with Barton traveling to Butler for a pair of games in El Dorado.
In the end it was a split for the teams as Butler won the opener by a 5-4 count and Barton responded for an 8-6 win in the nightcap.
The same two teams will play another doubleheader today, starting a 1 pm at McDonald Park.
Barton used a 3-run seventh inning to pull out the win in the second game and earn the split. In the opener, a late rally came up just short.
Trailing 6-4 into the seventh inning of the second game, Barton came through in the seventh of the nine inning game.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Barton scored its first run on a wild pitch that allowed Michael Sinks to score from third.
Brady Michel delivered on a 3-2 count, driving a single to center that brought home Trey Pittman and Ryan Schippers and give Barton a 7-6 lead.
The Cougars added another run in the eighth for insurance as Sinks again scored on a wild pitch after reaching on a hit batsmen.
Sinks and Bartlett each had three hits in the win while Michel drove in three on two hits. He hits a solo home run earlier in the contest. Sinks scored three times.
Dawson Pomeroy picked up the win relief, going 1.2 shutout innings. Taylor Langston slammed the door on Butler, striking out three and giving up just one hit in his two innings of work to pick up the save.
In the opener, Barton fell behind 5-2 after a 4-run fifth inning by the Grizzlies.
The Cougars put their rally caps in the seventh and final inning.
Michael Baca was hit by a pitch to start the inning and after a Brett Bonar single, the Cougars were in business.
Alan Clark made it a 5-3 game with a sacrifice fly to score Baca, but it put the Cougars down to their final out.
Sinks kept the inning going with a single to left and Corrigan Bartlett made it 5-4 with a single to right to score pinch runner Derek Johnson. That would be the end of the rally, though for the Cougars.
Garrett Rogers went the distance on the mound for the Cougars, allowing eight hits and five runs in the loss.