PRATT — While the Barton baseball team was splitting doubleheaders against the top of the Jayhawk West, it felt like a matter of keeping pace with the leaders.
This past weekend, the Cougars split their doubleheader with Pratt Sunday and thus split the series with Beavers at Stanion Field in Pratt over the weekend. But this time, it felt like the Cougars missed out on an opportunity.
This time the split wasn’t against one of the teams near the top of the West. It was with the team at the bottom of the conference.
Barton won the opener Sunday by a 13-1 final but could not complete the sweep, falling 10-5 in the second game.
The split leaves the Cougars tied for fourth in the West with an 11-9 record. Barton is 27-13 overall. The Cougars are tied with Garden City and one game back of Dodge City at 12-8. Hutchinson is 18-6 and Colby 15-5 at the top of the West.
Pratt is now 5-14 in the West and 15-23 overall.
The Cougars dominated the opener Sunday. Barton scored three times in the first inning and never trailed on the way to the win. Barton’s 5-run seventh ended the game by run-rule.
Everyone who came to the plate got a hit as Barton pounded out 14 hits and rode the strong pitching of Mason Hiser to the win. Hiser went all seven innings, allowing six hits and no walks while striking out eight.
At the plate, Michael Sinks had three hits, including a home run and drove in two. Dawson Pomeroy had two hits and drove in three. Kaden Fowler had a pair of doubles and two RBI while Corrigan Bartlett had two hits and drove in a pair.
The Cougars jumped out to a great start in game two Sunday, scoring three times in the first inning on a Pomeroy 3-run homer to center that scored Sinks and Bartlett.
But Pratt answered with three in the bottom of first, took a 7-3 lead in the fourth and blew the game open with three more in the fifth for a 10-3 lead.
Barton never challenged after that.
Barton is at home Tuesday for a doubleheader against the Bethany JV at 4 p.m. before diving back into West play this weekend.
Barton will host the now red-hot Seward County Saints in a series moved up one day due to Easter. The teams will play two Friday at 1 pm at Lawson-Biggs Field then return Saturday for a 1 pm start again.
Seward is right behind the Cougars at 9-11 but have won six of its last eight West games.