It was hard to keep up with the quick-changing schedule for the Barton Community College baseball team as the weekend approached. Originally Barton was headed to Oklahoma for a twinbill Saturday and Sunday with Rose State College. But weather changed that. More than once.
At one point a pair of teams were coming to Barton for a couple days, then all on one day and eventually it turned into a double header with Des Moines (Iowa) Area College. A doubleheader the Cougars split, losing the opener 5-4 and winning the nightcap 5-1. Barton is now 5-4 on the season while Des Moines drops to 2-3.
“I’ve been on the phone more in the past week than all year combined,” First-year Barton coach Brent Biggs said. “We had our originally scheduled games in Oklahoma cancelled and were scrambling to find games for Friday and Saturday. Luckily we were able to get Crowder and DMACC scheduled but last minute Crowder travel problems forced us to alter the schedule again.”
So after having the originally scheduled home opener moved out of state last weekend due to weather, the Cougars had a hastily compiled home opener Friday afternoon at Lawson-Biggs Field.
The Cougars fell behind early in the first game against Des Moines Area, ranked 20th in the NJCAA Division II poll. The Bears jumped to a 2-0 lead before Barton came to bat and had a 3-1 lead after two innings. Single runs in the fourth and fifth by the Bears put Barton in a 5-1 hole.
The Cougars rallied in the bottom of the sixth with three runs including a homer from Lance White. Barton trimmed it to 5-4 when shortstop Dylan Kuhn doubled in catcher Lance Hughes with two outs. Kuhn moved 90 feet from tying the game on an infield single by Josh Farrington but a hard-hit line drive to left by leadoff hitter Trevor Turner was right at the leftfielder to end the threat.
Barton threatened again in the seventh with a 1-out walk and a steal of second with two outs but that is where Evan McDonald stayed as the inning, and game, ended.
“We came out a little flat and dug ourselves a hole in game one,” Coach Biggs said. “We did a nice job battling back but couldn’t get the big hit when we needed it late in the game.’
The Cougars wasted little time in getting a lead in the second game putting up three in the bottom of the first for a 3-1 lead. The first three batters reached base and Bryce Minor provided the big blow with a 1-out double to score Jacob Richardson and McDonald for Barton’s first lead of the day.
“After giving up a run in the top of the first our offense showed some signs of life putting up a 3-spot in the bottom of the inning,” Coach Biggs said. “We put together some nice at bats in game two.”
Barton added single runs in the third and fourth then rode the arms of its pitching staff to the win. Jordan Plank threw six strong innings allowing one run on three hits for the win. Alex Evans threw the final three innings for the save.
“Jordan Plank had another solid outing for us in game two,” Coach Biggs said. “He held a talented DMACC offense to just one run through six innings. Jordan has a high baseball IQ on the mound and can throw three pitches for strikes.”
Barton, weather permitting, will be on the diamond Wednesday in Hays against the Fort Hays State JV. Jayhawk West play will get underway this weekend at Colby.