Fresh off a weekend five-game sweep, the Barton Community College baseball team is ranked No. 16 in the first regular season NJCAA Division I national poll recently released.
Barton’s 12-1 start is also the best start since the 2006 season when the Cougars started 7-1.
Barton will get its stiffest test of the early season as they travel to Hutchinson for a four-game series with Hutchinson Community College.
The first pitch for today’s nine-inning game will be at 4 at Hutchinson’s Bud Detter Field. The two teams will return to the diamond at 1 p.m. on Saturday for a seven-inning doubleheader and then wrap up the series with a nine-inning game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Barton started the season with four games in Odessa, Texas, where the Cougars went 3-1. Two wins came against West Texas College and then Barton split games with host Odessa College.
Barton then returned home to sweep a three game series with McCook Community College. After a midweek win over Bethany College Junior Varsity, the Cougars hosted Western Nebraska Community College in a five game series this past weekend in which Barton won all five.
Cougars shortstop Federico Castagnini was named the KJCCC Verizon Wireless Player of the Week. Castagnini, a sophomore from Verona, Italy, batted .526 for the week, had a .667 on base percentage, scored 11 runs, and drove in another 11 runs in helping to lead Barton to a perfect 6-0 week.
The Creighton University signee is batting .537 with 21 runs batted in and has crossed the plate 19 times in leading Barton in almost every major statistical category.