The results weren’t what Coach Brent Biggs was after. His Barton baseball team traveled to Oklahoma for a 3-game weekend series at Rose State College.
The result was a 0-3 mark. Barton had its chances, but came up short in all three games.
The Cougars lost a single 9-inning game Saturday to Rose State, 7-6, then lost a pair of 7-inning affairs Sunday, 4-1 and 5-3.
The losses drop Barton to 2-5 on the season while Rose State improves to 4-0.
“The weekend was a disappointing one to say the least,” Coach Biggs said. “We struggled in just about every aspect of the game and still had a chance to win all three late.”
In the opener a 3-run second inning gave Rose State a 5-3 lead that grew to 6-3 in the fourth. The Cougars rallied and when Dayton Pomeroy homered in the seventh, Barton had tied it at 6-all. But the Raiders scored one in the bottom of the seventh to retake the lead by the eventual final of 7-6. The Cougars went 1-2-3 in the eighth and ninth.
Sunday’s opener saw three Barton pitchers combine to give up three hits but Barton still lost 4-1. A Barton error combined with two hits gave Rose State a 2-1 lead after one. A leadoff homer in the bottom of the second made it 3-1. That would be the last hit for Rose State.
The Raiders added a run in the fifth on a walk, error, balk and sacrifice fly.
But the Barton offense could not produce. Barton left six runners on base including the bases loaded in the fourth.
In the third and final game of the weekend, Barton fell behind 3-0 after one and trailed 5-0 after three innings.
Barton cut it to 5-1 in the fifth on a Drake Bliss single that scored Mason Hightower. After the Bliss single, Barton had two runners on with one out but could not add more runs.
Barton made things interesting in the top of the final inning. Hightower started the seventh with a double. Pinch running for Hightower, Derek Johnson advanced to third and scored on a sac fly. Alan Clark walked and came into to score on a Michael Sinks 1-out single to make it 5-3. That, however, would be the end of the rally.
“We start one maybe two sophomores at the most,” Coach Biggs said of his team’s early struggles. “We are going to experience some growing pains early.
“The good news is we are only seven games into a 56-game season. This is a talented group that has to learn how to win and be able to compete from the first pitch to the last.”
Barton will have its home opener this weekend in its annual wood-bat series against Western. The two teams will play a 9-innng and 7-inning game on Saturday then a pair of 7-inning games on Sunday at Lawson-Biggs Field.
“We are looking forward to a good week of practice and the challenges that Western Nebraska brings to our home opener,” Coach Biggs said “We need to gain some momentum heading into the conference season which is just two weeks away.”
First pitch for Saturday is set for 1 p.m. and Sunday at noon.
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