The Barton Community College baseball team has concluded the regular season and is now preparing for the NJCAA Region VI tournament.
The Cougars open the East No. 2 Super Regional in Chanute with a 9:30 a.m. game against Johnson County on Saturday.
BCC is 37-19 on the season with a region record of 18-10, putting it in third place in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Western Division standings. It is entering the postseason after losing two games to KJCCC Division II Dodge City.
“I think that bothered us more when it happened then it does now,” Barton head coach Mike Warren said. “We were doing pretty well before that so I think it bothered us a little when it happened.
“These sophomores have been there before so they know what to expect (in the postseason). I feel good about our chances. If we pitch well and play good defense, we’ll do fine.”
Of the seven Cougars with more than 100 at-bats this season, the leader at the plate is Ryan Busboom, who has a batting average of .381 with 20 extra-base hits and 46 RBIs.
While 46 RBIs is the most among Barton players, Busboom is joined by two teammates, each with 46 — Mitch Slauter, who has an average of .343 as well was the most home runs on the team with five and Nathan Miller, who has an average of .331.
On the mound, Keith Picht has the best earned run average for the Cougars at 3.44. His record sits at 6-4.
The only other pitcher with six wins is Tayler Davis, who has a 6-1 record with a 5.12 ERA.
Johnson County finished the regular season in sixth place in the East standings with an overall record of 31-24, including a region record of 16-20.
“(Johnson County) is built on pitching,” Warren said. “They have very good pitching with four pitchers that throw 90 mph or more. Their best pitcher is a kid from Topeka Hayden named (Cody) Schumacher.”
Schumacher leads the Johnson County pitching staff with an ERA of 1.72 on 69 1/3 innings pitched.
“He’s going to be tough,” Warren said, “but we have six left-handers hitting in our line up which is something I don’t think he’s seen before. His slider is some of his best stuff so we’re hoping we can control that a little bit.”
Johnson County’s leader at the plate is Ryan Hall with a .380 average and 28 RBIs.
Blake Sturgeon leads the Cavaliers with 43 RBIs, and Chad Shannon is right behind him with 42.
“We’re going to have to hit better than they do,” Warren said. “Lets put it this way, I don’t expect high-scoring games.”
The tournament is a double elimination set up, meaning that a team must lose twice to be eliminated.
The winner of the Barton-Johnson County game plays the winner of the Neosho County-Pratt game on Sunday at 1 p.m. The losers will face off on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.