It was basically over before it barely began.
The Barton baseball team left little doubt as to the outcome of its game at Hesston Tuesday before the Larks swung a single bat. The Cougars jumped to a 7-0 lead in the top of the first inning on the way to an easy 10-0 road win.
The win in its midweek game improved Barton to 25-20 on the season while Hesston fell to 14-33. The Cougars will be back in the grind of Jayhawk West action this weekend at Seward County.
Drake Bliss set the tone early, sending the third pitch of the game on a line to right field for a double. It would the first of two hits in the inning for Bliss as Barton sent 12 batters to the plate.
Michael Sinks put Barton on the board with the first of two hits in the inning for him as well with an RBI single that scored Bliss.
Barton opened the game with three hits and a hit batsman. Cole Henley tripled in two during the inning. Sinks ended with two RBI in the inning – one in each at bat.
In all, Barton had seven hits in the inning. All but two starters scored before Hesston batted.
From there, the Barton pitching took over. A trio of pitchers – Brant Millerborg, Avery Riedmiller, and Ben Wright – shutout the Larks on just four hits and one walk.
The Larks went down in order in four of the seven innings.
Riedmiller got the win, working four of the seven innings to improve to 1-0 and earn his first victory as a Cougar.
Sinks added two more RBI later in the game to end 3-for-4 with four RBI.
The Cougars jump back into West play Saturday in Liberal at 1 pm. Doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday will be the next-to-last conference series of the year. The Cougars still have a 4-game set with Colby the following weekend.