After weather pushed the opening of the Jayhawk West season back a week, the Barton Community College baseball team started conference play this past weekend with a split at Lawson-Biggs Field.
Barton and Cloud County split the 4-game series with Cloud winning the opening game each day and Barton taking the nightcap. Cloud opened play with an 8-2 win Saturday then Barton closed out the day with a 4-2 win. Sunday saw Cloud begin with a 10-4 win before Barton finished the series with a 15-2 win.
The split gives Barton a 7-8 overall record and 2-2 in the West. Cloud is 7-12 overall and 3-5 in the West.
In the opening game of the series Barton fell behind 3-0 in the first inning and it was 6-0 as the Cougars went to bat in the bottom of the fourth thanks to fielding woes. Barton made it a game with a pair of runs in the inning to cut it to 6-2 but would not score again.
Evan McDonald, Seth Troll and Bryce Minor all had two hits in the loss. Four errors contributed to five unearned runs for the Thunderbirds.
Barton’s defense was better in the second game Saturday not commiting an error in the contest on the way to the win. Jordan Plank scattered eight hits and struck out three in seven innings to stay perfect on the year with a 4-0 record. Jackson Rose and Shane Adams threw two scoreless innings in relief with Adams collecting his first save.
Barton scored single runs in each of the first three innings to build a 3-1 lead. The Cougars added a huge run in the bottom of the seventh of the 9-inning game after Cloud cut it to 3-2. Lance White provided the insurance run on a single to score Garrett Watkins as Barton made the most of its five hits.
The opener Sunday saw Barton take a 3-0 lead through two innings only to boot it away with more errors in the middle innings. A 2-out error in the fourth allowed Cloud to take the lead on the way to a 4-run inning. The Thunderbirds added three more in the fifth for an 8-3 lead on the way to the win.
Barton’s bats finally exploded in the series finale. The Cougars pounded out 13 hits in the 15-2 win. Barton scored in every inning but one including a 7-run fourth.
Jacob Richardson and Trevor Hughes each drove in three while Watkins, Trevor Turner and Josh Farrington each added a pair of RBI. Minor scored four times and Troll three in the win.
Cody Brewer went five innings to pick up the win and improve to 1-2.
Barton will make up half of its wiped out 4-game Jayhawk West series at Colby when they travel to take on the Trojans in a doubleheader Wednesday. The final two games of that series do not have a make-up date as of yet.