PRATT —The Barton Community College baseball team won three of its four Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Western Division games against Pratt.
BCC head coach Mike Warren earned a pair of milestone wins.
With their win in the opener on Sunday, the Cougars handed Warren his 800th win at Barton, and with the opening win on Monday they gave the veteran skipper his 900th win overall.
“I didn’t start coaching to reach 900 wins but when you have good players and good assistant coaches the wins and longevity pile up,” Warren said. “There are a lot of people who are responsible for this.
“It’s a lot of wins but also a lot of losses. I consider the players and assistants responsible for the wins and myself responsible for the losses. I remember a lot more of the losses than I do the wins.”
Barton is now 7-5 in the West and 15-11 overall while Pratt stands at 3-9 and 13-12.
Barton jumped to a 5-1 lead in the second inning of the series opener and never looked back. Federico Castagnini delivered the big blow in the inning with a three-run double down the left-field line scoring Corey Hatchel, Tanner Carpenter and Jordan Slade.
Ryan Busboom, who had three hits in the win, put Barton on the board earlier in the inning with a double that scored Nathan Miller. Barton put the game out of reach in the fifth and sixth innings with five more combined runs highlighted by a Mitch Slauter two-run homer in the sixth.
Sophomore Keith Picht went all seven innings and scattered five hits. Picht struck out five and walked none to improve to 4-2 on the season.
Barton fell behind in the second game on Sunday 3-0 in the bottom of the first but tied the game at three-all when Corey Sager belted a three-run homer in the fourth scoring Dylan Monroe and Ian Smith. Pratt retook the lead with a two-out, two-run single in the sixth for the final score of 5-3.
BCC outhit the Beavers 9-5 in the loss but left 10 runners stranded to just five for Pratt.
Barton made Warren sweat it out in the opener on Monday but delivered with a 3-2 win in 11 innings.
Barton took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Michael Tennessen singled in Slauter. The Cougars increased the lead to 2-0 in the next inning when Miller singled in Slade.
Pratt scored a run in the sixth and another in the seventh to send the contest to extra innings. The Cougars finally broke the tie in the 11th with an RBI single to center by Miller, who had three hits and two RBI.
“The key hit in the series was Nathan Millers’ two-out RBI single in the 11th inning in game three,” Warren said. “If we don’t win that game, we lose contention for the conference championship. We gave up a lead in the seventh of that game, but Ian Smith was huge on the mound keeping them scoreless and we didn’t let the loss of the lead get us down. We continued to put pressure on until we won the game.”
The Cougars got great pitching efforts from both starter Robbie Van Cour and Smith out of the bullpen. Van Cour went six innings, allowing one run, five hits and two walks with five strike outs. Smith finished the game, going five innings and striking out seven on just three hits and no walks.
“It was very ironic that win 900 came on the same field that I started my coaching career on,” Warren said. “One of my players that played for me when I coached at Pratt came to the games and it meant a lot. I have a lot of great memories in coaching, but the first place I coached will always have a special place in my heart.”
Barton closed out the series with a 10-1 win. The Cougars pitchers allowed just two hits in the seven innings of play.
Ben Minnihan got the win for the Cougars to improve to 3-0. Taylor Davis and Niccolo Loardi also threw in the win. Castagnini had a big game at the plate going 4-for-5 with four RBI. Tennessen drove in a pair and Adam Geisick scored three times.
BCC’s weekend games
have been rescheduled
Due to expected inclement weather on Sunday, Barton’s home games against Seward County slated for Saturday and Sunday have been moved to Friday and Saturday.
Each day’s doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m. at Lawson-Biggs Field.