It was baseball being played in Kansas. Successful baseball for the Barton Cougars.
The Cougars finally got their Jayhawk West season started and did so in fine fashion, sweeping Garden City in four games.
And thanks to the new turf infield at Lawson-Biggs Field this season, the Cougars were able to stay at home for all four games.
The Cougars won two Friday over Garden, 9-5 and 4-1, at Lawson-Biggs Field to open the West season. The two teams returned to Lawson-Biggs Field Saturday as Barton won 3-1 and 12-4 to complete the sweep.
Barton is now 13-3 overall in addition to 4-0 in the West. Garden is 12-7 and 0-4.
Barton was the home team on Friday and the visitors on Saturday as weather conditions left the field in Garden City unplayable.
After the entire West wiped out last weekend’s scheduled West openers, moving them back to the end of the season, there was no more room to move the series this weekend. The games had to be played.
Some teams had to leave the state to get the games in – Cloud and Pratt played four games in Alva, Okla.
In the Cougars sweep, they set for a theme in the opening inning that would play out the first three games. The Cougars jumped to a 6-0 lead in the opening inning Friday on the way to the 9-5 win.
Tyler Bandiera gave Barton a 3-0 lead with a double to score Noah Geekie then Trenton Ferguson followed with a triple to score Charlie Peyla and Bandiera.
Nolan Riley, Geekie, Peyla and Bandiera all had two hits for Barton with Peyla, Bandiera, and Ferguson each driving in a pair. Bandiera hit his second homer of the year in the win.
Zach Curry went five innings, allowing just one earned run to improve to 2-0 on the year. Tanner Howe closed out the win for his fourth save.
Barton scored again in the opening inning of the second game Friday then added two more in the second for a 3-0 lead after two innings on the way to the 4-1 win.
That was enough for the Cougar pitching staff, led by Easton Smith, who threw into the seventh giving up just the one run to improve to 3-0. Four different relievers shut down the Broncbusters with Howe recording the final four outs for his fifth save.
Andrew Stewart had two hits, an RBI and a run scored at the plate while Geekie had two hits.
The teams started early Saturday in an effort to get some baseball in before the 40 mph winds hit, but to no avail.
But just like the day before, Barton scored in the opening inning and never trailed. This time in in the top of the first as the visitor, Barton tallied a run in each of the first two innings on the way to 3-1 win.
Barton scored its first run on a Peyla 2-out single to score Riley. The Cougars made it 2-0 in the second on a Brett Erickson grounder that scored Ferguson. Barton had just three hits in the win.
Jake Skala went all seven innings on the mound, allowing five hits and one unearned run to improve to 3-0.
The finale was a bit different.
This time Barton trailed 3-0 into the top of the sixth when the Cougars exploded for nine runs in the 12-4 win.
Barton took the lead when Noah Rheinheimer tripled in Peyla and Chandler Bloomer for a 4-3 lead. Brett Erickson followed with a double to score Rheinheimer.
One batter later Stewart doubled in Erickson and Billy Coleman. Nolan Riley would add a triple to scored Stewart as Barton had seven hits – four extra base hits – in the inning.
Riley ended with four hits, two RBI and three runs scored. Erickson also had four hits from the 9-hole. Geekie had three hits while Rheinheimer finished with a pair hits, two RBI and two runs scored.
Colton Crisp picked up the win in relief, going three innings, allowing only a walk and four strike outs.
The Cougars are back on the diamond Thursday for two games at Hutchinson before the Blue Dragons come to Barton Saturday to close out the 4-game series.
Barton 9, Garden 5
Garden 000 030 2 – 5 9 1
Barton 600 111 x – 9 13 2
Heiman, Yates (5) and Stone; Curry, Wesbrooks (6), Howe (7) and Rheinheimer. W – Curry (2-0). L – Heiman (2-1). S – Howe (4). 2B – Klein, Truslow, Finley, Eskenazi, Garden’ Geekie, Peyla, Bandiera, Barton. 3B – Ferguson, Barton. HR – Bandiera (2), Barton.
Barton 4, Garden 1
Garden 000 001 000 – 1 5 0
Barton 120 100 00x – 4 7 0
Winter, Nunez (4), Douglas (5), Ramos (7), Nason (8) and Stone; Smith, McClure (7), Richter (7), Young (8), Howe (8) and Rheinheimer. W – Smith (3-0). L – Winter (0-2). S – Howe (5). 2B – Barber, Truslow, Garden; Geekie, Bandiera, Barton. 3B – Stewart, Barton.
Barton 3, Garden 1
Barton 110 000 1 – 3 3 1
Garden 000 010 0 – 1 5 4
Skala and Rheinheimer; O’Donnell, Ramos (7) and Stone. W – Skala (3-0). L – O’Donnell (2-2). 2B – McDonald, Klein, Garden.
Barton 12, Garden 4
Barton 000 009 012 – 12 16 1
Garden 010 020 001 – 4 5 3
Ensz, Crisp (5), Richter (7) and Rheinheimer; Crone, Nason (6), Summer (6), Douglas (6), Yates (9). W – Crisp (1-1). L – Summer (0-1). 2B – Stewart, Riley, Erickson, Barton; 3B – Peyla, Rheinheimer, Barton. HR – Lara, Garden.