BY MIKE MARZOLF
Special to the Tribune
EL DORADO – One run games were definitely on the menu at El Dorado this past weekend. The first three games of the four games series came down to a single run. Unfortunately for the Barton Community College baseball team two of those went the way of Butler.
When the series ended with a 10-0 blanking by Butler the Grizzlies had taken three of four from the Cougars in Jayhawk West action. Butler won both games by a single run on Saturday, 2-1 and 3-2 then Barton took a 7-6 win to start Sunday before the easy Butler win in the finale.
The series loss leaves the Cougars with a 5-5 mark in the West 10-11 overall. Butler leads the West with a 6-2 record and is 14-8 overall.
“It was a tough weekend of baseball,” Coach Brent Biggs said. “We played well for the most part on Saturday. We weren’t able to get the big hit or make the big play when we really needed it. We had the right guys at the plate several times in RBI situations and unfortunately we couldn’t produce.
The opener Saturday saw the Grizzlies score in extra innings to earn the win. Butler had taken a 1-0 lead in the third. The Cougars tied it up in the sixth. Trevor Hughes started the inning with a double and advanced to third and scored on a sacrifice bunt that ended up being a Butler error to tie the game.
That is where the game stayed through the scheduled seven innings, sending the game to extra frames.
In the home half of the eighth a hit batsman, error and double ended the game just three batters into the inning.
Alex Evans went the distance for Barton, taking the loss despite allowing just three hits and walking one. He is now 0-2. Corbin Osburn threw a gem for Butler, allowing just three hits as well to improve to 5-0.
Butler struck first in the second game Saturday, grabbing a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Barton responded in the fourth.
Lance White led off the inning with a single and Josh Farrington reached on a sacrifice bunt. After a Bryce Minor strike out Trevor Hughes loaded the bases on a single with just one out.
Trevor Turner was hit by a pitch to force in White and Barton had tied the game and still had the bases loaded with just one out. But a 1-2-3 double play grounder off the bat of Xavier Sundman ended the Barton threat.
Butler countered with a run in the fourth and fifth for a 3-1 lead. Errors allowed Barton to put a run on the board in the sixth. Farrington, who had reached on an infield error, scored on a Hughes ground out to second. Barton left the tying run 90 feet away.
In the seventh and final inning Evan McDonald gave Barton some hope with a 2-out single but that would be all the Cougars would get in the final inning in the 3-2 loss. Jayme Lovelace took the loss, allowing all three Butler runs to fall to 0-2.
Barton finally got a taste of victory in the opener Saturday behind a pair of homers and one big sacrifice fly. Barton built a 6-3 lead in the game on the strength of 2-run homers from Minor and Farrington.
Minor’s blast was a shot to left in the third that scored White and gave Barton a 4-0 lead. Farrington homered to left in the fourth scoring Hughes and giving Barton a 6-3 lead.
Butler rallied to tie the game with two in the sixth before Barton scored in the top of the seventh. Tyler Jennings started the seventh with an infield single and moved to second on a throwing error. Turner sacrificed him to third and Hughes hit a sac fly to score him.
That was enough for Shane Adams to shut the door in the seventh for his second save.
“Game three we played well enough to win,” Coach Biggs said. “We surrendered the lead late but our guys continued to fight and were able to make just enough plays to win. Game four we set baseball back about 100 years.”
In the final game of the series Butler scored sixth in the third and rolled to an easy win.
The Cougars will travel to Colby Wednesday for the final two makeup games of the snowed out series the final weekend of February.