Getting on base wasn’t exactly an easy chore Thursday afternoon for the Barton baseball team. But it wasn’t as tough as getting those base runners across home plate.
The Cougars scored just two runs and stranded 15 base runners over the Jayhawk West doubleheader against Colby.
But those two runs were enough to manage a split.
Barton won the first game 1-0 in 10 innings. Colby won the second game, 5-1.
The Cougars still have the lead in the West at 12-6. Butler remains on their heels after its split with Cloud County. The Grizzlies are 11-7. Hutchinson has the weekend off from the West and remains 10-6.
Colby is 7-7 and 20-12 overall. The Cougars are now 25-10 on the season.
“We had our chances,” Coach Brent Biggs said. “We just left too many runners on base. When we compete in the order from 1-9, we can be pretty good. When we don’t we are not.”
The first game was a pitching duel between Barton’s Zach Curry and Colby’s Logan Hofmann. Curry took his shutout through seven innings before giving way to the bullpen. Hofmann went the distance for the Trojans.
Right from the start, Barton left runners on base. In the opener, the Cougars stranded two in the first inning and were not able to bring in Brett Erickson in the second despite his 1-out triple.
Barton left two more on in the fourth before Hofmann retired 12 straight Cougars if you count one double play.
Harrison Denk and Andrew Stewart ended that stretch with back-to-back 2-out singles in the eighth, but Barton left them stranded.
Finally, with one out in the 10th, Noah Rheinheimer doubled to right and with two outs Stewart singled him in for the win.
Coleton Crisp threw the final 1.2 innings to pick up the win in relief. He combined with Curry, Joe Richter and Jacob Ensz for the shutout.
The Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first of game two but it could easily have been more.
Denk led off the inning with a double and after a Stewart fly out, Noah Geekie and Nolan Riley both singled. Riley’s single scored Denk.
But the Cougars could not bring them and Colby took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second.
“You kind of get the feeling that if we get some more runs in the first, things might have been different,”Coach Biggs said. “We walk them off the first game and if we jump on them to start the second game, we might have been able to keep it going.”
The Cougars would eventually strand eight runners through seven innings in the second game.
Denk and Chandler Bloomer each had two hits in the loss.
Now it’s on to Colby for the final two games of the series Saturday.
Barton 1, Colby 0
Colby 000 000 000 0 – 0 5 2
Barton 000 000 000 1 – 1 9 0
Hofmann and Tilley; Curry, Richter (8), Ensz (9), Crisp (9) and Rheinheimer. W – Crisp (2-1). L – Hofmann (4-3). 2B – Rheinheimer, Barton.
Colby 5, Barton 1
Colby 020 120 0 – 5 10 0
Barton 100 000 0 – 1 8 2
Ingalls and Tilley; Smith, Ensz (5), Wesbrooks (6) and Rheinheimer. W – Ingalls (3-2). L – Smith (4-2). 2B – Perez, Evans, McWillie, Colby; Denk 2, Stewart, Erickson, Barton. HR – Coutney, Colby.