TOPEKA – It was a milestone win for the Barton baseball team. The Cougars eclipsed the 40-win plateau Monday afternoon. It was the first time since 2002 the Cougars have tallied that many wins.
The Cougars also put the finishes touches on a first round home playoff series to start Region VI action this weekend. That had been in the bag for some time.
But what Barton didn’t wrap up Monday was that second seed in said post season. Barton split games with Cloud County in of all places Topeka at Washburn University. The Cougars won the opener to hit the 40-win mark, 5-2. But Barton lost the second game of the doubleheader and the regular season finale, 7-2.
Barton is now 40-16 overall and 21-11 in the Jayhawk West. Cloud County ends its season at 27-29 and 12-20.
What does all this mean for the post season? The Cougars didn’t find out for sure until Tuesday. That is when Colby won the opener of its 4-game series with Dodge City and secured Barton that second seed.
Barton will host Allen County this weekend in a best 2-of-3 series at Lawson-Biggs Field to open Region VI play beginning Friday.
Monday in Topeka at Falley Field, where the teams were able to find dry playing conditions, Barton got off to a good start behind a solid pitching effort.
Barton freshman Jarrett Seaton collected his 10th win of the season. The left-hander from Omaha improved to 10-1 by pitching into the sixth inning, allowing two earned runs and striking out seven.
The Barton offense nickel and dimed the Thunderbirds. A Cole Henley home run tied it at 1-all in the second. Alan Clark gave Barton a 2-1 lead in the fourth with an RBI single to score Trey Pittman.
Henley was at it again in the fifth when his double scored Kaden Fowler to make it 3-2.
The Cougars gave themselves some breathing room in the sixth asCorrigan Bartlett singled in Michael Sinks and Derek Johnson for a 5-2 lead just three outs from a win.
Taylor Langston took care of those three outs in the seventh to record his sixth save of the season.
The second game was a pitching duel most of the way. The scheduled nine inning contest was scoreless through six innings as Barton’s Andrew Repp and a pair of Cloud pitchers were tossing shutouts.
The T-Birds finally broke through with three runs in the seventh before Barton answered back with a Sinks double that scored Henley and Pittman to send the game to the eighth at 3-2. But Cloud put four more runs on the board in the eighth and coasted to the win 7-2 win.
Now all eyes turn to the post season as the Cougars look to make a run deep into the playoffs.
The Cougars will take on Allen County Friday at 4 pm in the series opener. The same two teams will return to Lawson-Biggs Field for the second game Saturday at 2 pm. If a third game is needed the Cougars and Red Devils will play Sunday at 2 pm.
Allen County finished seventh in the Jayhawk East with a conference mark of 14-22. The Red Devils are 28-25 overall.