It was a good start to an important series.
If the Barton Community College baseball team is going to make a run for a top spot in the Jayhawk West race the Cougars need to play well in their final three 4-game conference series. Friday at Lawson-Biggs Field the Cougars started things off right with an 8-5 win over Hutchinson - one of the teams ahead of them in the standings.
The series will conclude this afternoon at Lawson-Biggs Field with a 2 p.m. first pitch.
The Cougars trailed just briefly in the win Friday but they could not hold a lead until the final score. Each time Barton would take a lead the Blue Dragons would strike right back.
That is until Dylan Kuhn drove in three runs with a bases loaded hit in the seventh for the final margin.
After three scoreless innings Barton struck first on a sacrifice fly by Lance White to score Seth Troll. Hutch answered with a pair of runs in the fifth capped by a run-scoring double by Chris Pinne.
That would be the only lead of the game for Hutchinson. Barton tied it in the bottom ofthe inning when Kuhn scored on a Trevor Turner single and took the lead when Tyler Jennings drove in Turner.
The scoring continued in the top of the sixth as Hutch evened the game at 3-all. Barton immediately answered back again in the bottom of the inning. Kuhn was in the middle of things again as the shortstop drove in Jacob Richardson on a single and scored on a Turner double for a 5-3 lead.
The teams continued to go back-and-fourth as the Blue Dragons tied the game with two runs in the top of the seventh.
That set the stage for Kuhn’s heroics in the bottom of the inning.
Jennings started the inning with a bunt single but it look as if the Cougars would strand him as the next two batters were retired. White kept the inning alive with a single to right and when Richardson drew a walk the Cougars had the bases load for Kuhn. Kuhn hit a 3-1 pitch to center to score all three runners and provide the difference in the game.
Barton pounded out 15 hits in the win including three from Kuhn , batting ninth in the order. The sophomore from Goddard drove in four and scored twice. Turner, a sophomore from Hutchinson High School, also had three hits and drove in a pair against his hometown team.
Jackson Rose got the win in relief, throwing the final three innings and allowing three hits and two runs. The freshman from Omaha improved to 5-0.