The Barton baseball team kept pace among the Jayhawk West leaders Thursday afternoon, sweeping a pair of games from Pratt Lawson-Biggs Field.
Barton held off Pratt in the opener, winning by a 6-5 margin then used an 8-run inning in the nightcap on the way to a 12-2 win.
Barton is now 7-3 in the West and 17-6 overall. Pratt is 1-9 and 13-12.
The Cougars are tied atop the West standings with Butler and Cloud County. Hutchinson is one back at 6-4 and Seward is 5-5 on a busy leaderboard.
The opener saw Barton take a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first then spend the rest of the game fending off the Beavers.
The big blow in the first was a 3-run home run by Charlie Peyla to make it a 4-0 game. Peyla’s first home run of the season drove in Nolan Riley and Andrew Stewart.
Pratt scored three times in the second off five hits then tied the contest at 4-all in the top of the sixth.
Barton answered right back in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back RBI singles from Tyler Bandiera and Trenton Ferguson.
That would prove to be just enough as Tanner Howe surrendered a couple of seventh inning hits in relief that resulted in one run as the Cougars held on for the 6-5 win.
Zach Curry improved to 3-1 with the win, going six innings before Howe relieved him in the seventh to pick up his sixth save.
The second game was a little smoother for the Cougars after Barton exploded for eight runs in the fifth on the way to the run-rule win.
The Cougars scored those 12 runs without a single extra base hit. Barton pounded out 14 singles on the way to the win.
Barton trailed 2-1 into the bottom of the fifth. After Harrison Denk struck out to start the inning, 11 straight Cougars reached base. Six reached on singles, two each by walk and hit batsmen and one by a fielder’s choice.
When the dust cleared, Barton had a 9-2 lead and the rout was on. The game ended with a Noah Geekie RBI single to score Brett Erickson and make it a 10-run lead with one out in the eighth.
Denk, Geekie, and Riley – Barton’s 1-2-3 in the order – each had three hits. Denk drove in three and Geekie two.
Easton Smith stayed perfect at 4-0, going six innings and giving up two earned runs.
The series will wrap up today in Pratt with a 1 pm first pitch scheduled at Stanion Field.
Barton 6, Pratt 5
Pratt 030 001 1 – 5 11 1
Barton 400 002 x – 6 7 0
McElwee and Urrutia; Curry, Howe (7) and Rheinheimer. W – Curry (3-1). L – McElwee (2-4). S – Howe (6). 2B – Partington, Gage, Pratt; Geekie, Barton. HR – Peyla (1), Barton.
Barton 12, Pratt 2
Pratt 100 100 00 – 2 6 0
Barton 010 082 01 – 12 14 0
Huggins, Fultz (5), Hamilton (5), Ali (6), Rivera (8) and Veltman; Smith, Crisp (7), Wulfkuhle (8) and Rheinheimer. W – Smith (4-0). L – Huggins (01-5). 2B – Partington, Pratt.