It was a weekend to step away from Jayhawk West play but the results were similar for the Barton Community College baseball team – another split.
The Cougars traveled to Longview Community College in the metro Kansas City area and the teams splits a 4-game series over the weekend. Barton lost both games Saturday then rebounded for a pair of wins on Sunday to split the series.
Barton lost 9-0 and 13-8 to the Lakers Saturday then swept the pair Sunday 11-7 and 11-7. The series split gives Barton a 13-14 mark while Longview is 11-12. Barton will play a rescheduled game with the Kansas Wesleyan JV Tuesday at Lawson-Biggs Field at 5 pm.
“Saturday was a struggle all around for us,” Barton coach Brent Biggs said. “We came out extremely flat and played with little energy and enthusiasm. Longview is a physical offensive team that took full advantage of hitting in a small ballpark.
“Sunday we were a completely different team. We talked for a long time Saturday evening about getting back to our true identity as a team and playing hard and aggressive. Our guys seemed to enjoy playing the game Sunday.”
The Cougars mustered just one hit in the opener as Cory Simpson shut down the Barton bats. Josh Farrington got the only hit – a fifth inning single later wiped out on a double play.
Barton fell behind in the second game Saturday as Longview scored three runs in the second and third innings to grab a 6-1 lead.
Then the Cougars began to whittle away at the lead. The Cougars scored two in the fourth as Lance White hit a leadoff homer and Dayton Pomeroy doubled in Tyler Jennings to make it 6-3. Evan McDonald tripled and scored on a White single in the fifth to make it 7-4.
Barton got it one run in the sixth as Pomeroy and Farrington led off the inning with a single and double and came in to score to make it 7-6.
But Longview took any suspense out by responding with five runs in the bottom of the sixth on the way to the 13-8 win. White had three hits in the loss as Barton pounded out 14 hits.
Barton came back Sunday and continued to hit the hit ball well. The Cougars used a 6-run third to take control of the game then held off the Lakers.
Jacob Richardson led off the third with home run before a pair of Longview errors helped Barton out. The Cougars took advantage of those miscues and capped the inning with a 2-run homer from Bryce Minor to make it a 7-1 game.
White and Pomeroy homered in the fifth to give Barton a 10-5 lead after Longview had trimmed the lead to three. The four home runs in the game were a season-high for Barton. Xavier Sundman picked up the win throwing five innings.
Barton trailed much of the series finale before the bats came alive late. The Cougars trialed 2-1 heading into the sixth where the exploded for five runs. Barton took its first lead of the game on a 2-run single by Minor scoring White and Grant Watkins for a 4-2 lead. When Minor came in to score on a Trevor Turner single the Cougars capped the inning with a 6-2 lead.
Trevor Hughes gave Barton a big lead after belting a 3-run homer in the following inning that scored White and Pomeroy and Barton had a 9-2 lead.
Jackson Rose picked up the win, shutting out Longview his final five innings after giving up two runs in the opening inning. The Barton bullpen allowed just one hit in three innings of relief.
“Jackson Rose was exactly what we needed in game four on the mound,” Coach Biggs said. “Our pitching staff was stretched pretty thin this weekend and he gave us six quality innings giving us a chance to win.
“It is nice to have some versatile arms on the staff that can pitch at the back end of our bullpen and can also start games if needed.”
Barton will host the Kansas Wesleyan JV Tuesday then return to conference play this weekend. Barton will be back in Jayhawk West play Saturday and Sunday when the Cougars host Dodge City.
Dodge will come to Lawson-Biggs Field in second place in the West with a 10-6 record. The Conquistadors are 19-7 overall. Barton is currently 6-6 in the West.