The Barton Community College baseball team put together an impressive Saturday afternoon at Lawson-Biggs Field through some unimpressive weather. The Jayhawk West series Seward County was capped off by a combined no-hitter for Barton – highlighted by Tayler Davis – to earn a sweep of Seward on Saturday. That came after the Saints swept Barton Friday afternoon as the two teams spilt the West series. The split kept Barton in the hunt for the West title and kept Seward near the top. Barton is 9-7 in the West and 18-13 overall while Seward is 11-5 and 22-14. Barton will have a non conference single home game Wednesday against Brown Mackie starting at 4 pm.
Seward put Barton on the brink being out of the West race with a sweep Friday. Seward won the opener 6-2 then held off Barton for a 5-3 win in the 2nd game. But Barton pulled itself back into the race with a pair of wins Saturday, 9-3 and 12-2 in a run-rule 8 inning win. The series was originally set for Saturday and Sunday but was moved up a day to expected inclement weather.
On what was a good day to pitch Saturday with temps hovering around 40 and a slight breeze blowing in on the damp day, the Barton pitching staff took advantage holding Seward to just 6 hits and 5 runs in the doubleheader. That was highlighted by the effort of Davis, who threw the final 6.1 innings of the fourth game, striking out 9 and retiring the final 16 batters he faced. The only base runner allowed by Davis was a 2-out hit by pitch in the 3rd.
Ben Minnihan started the game and didn’t allow a hit through his 1.2 innings of work but had control problems. Minnihan walked 3 and hit a batter, allowing a pair of earned runs for the Saints despite not getting a hit. Coach Mike Warren went the bullpen with 2 out in the 2nd and Davis slammed the door, striking out his 1st batter to get out of the 2nd then hit cruise control the rest of the way. Davis is now 4-1 on the season.
While Davis was mowing would-be hitters down, the Cougars bats went to work. Barton scored 5 times in the bottom of the 3rd. The Cougars would do so on just 2 hits while the Saint pitchers suffered through control issues. Ryan Busboom singled in a pair and Jordan Slade started things with a 1-out single. Barton scored 2 runs on bases loaded walks and added another on a wild pitch. Barton blew the game open with 4 more in the 4th. This time Barton had 4 hits in the inning. Nathan Miller doubled in a pair scoring Federico Castagnini and Mitch Slauter. Busboom would later double in the inning to score Miller, steal 3rd and score on the throwing error. Miller and Busboom both ended the game with 3 hits and 3 RBI. Miller also scored 4 times and finished with a triple and double.
Barton won the opener Saturday thanks to another great pitching effort from Robbie Van Cour. Van Cour dominated for 6 innings before allowing the Saints a pair of runs on 3 hits in the final inning with Barton well in control of the game. For the 1st 6 innings of work, Van Cour allowed just 3 hits and struck out 7 with just 1 walk. Van Cour improved to 4-1 with the win. Barton banged out 13 hits in the win, scoring in the 1st 5 innings of the game. Barton scored a single run in each of the 1st 3 innings then put up a 3-spot in both the 4th and 5th. Tanner Carpenter had 3 hits and scored twice for Barton. Adam Geisick drove in 2 to lead the Cougars and Slade scored twice as well. Slade, Busboom, and Michael Tennessen each had 2 hits.
Day one was not as kind the Cougars. Seward banged out 13 hits while Barton produced just 4 in the 6-2 loss. The Cougar hung around, trailing just 3-2 going into the 6th inning of the 7-inning game. Seward made it 4-2 in the 6th then added 2 more for a 6-2 lead in the top of the 7th. The Cougars fell behind 5-0 in the opening inning of the 2nd game then had to try and real the Saints back in. Barton made it 5-1 in the bottom of the 2nd and eventually cut the lead to 5-3 in the 8th of the 9-inning game but couldn’t catch the Saints. The Cougars had ample opportunities late in the game but left 10 runners on base. Barton left the bases loaded in the 7th, left 2 on the 9th and left 1 on in the 8th when the Cougars scored 2 times. Clayton Garland had 3 hits for Barton and Miller scored twice.
Barton will host Brown Mackie Wednesday at 4 pm in a single 9-inning contest at Lawson-Biggs Field. Barton will take to the road this weekend with a trip to Colby for West action. Colby is currently in the mix for the West lead as well with a 7-3 record. Colby is 14-10 overall. The Trojans do still have a 2nd day of it series with Butler to finish out prior to hosting Barton.
The no-hitter by the Cougars was the team’s 1st since the 2004 season. During that season, Barton actually had a pair of no-hitters. The most memorable was Ryan Wagner retiring 21 of 22 batters he face – allowing only a walk – in a 1-0 blanking of Butler late in the conference season and Barton in the mix for a West title. The last no-hitter at Lawson-Biggs also came that year. In the season-opener of 2004 Ryan Phillips and Brian Knipplemeyer combined for a no-hitter in a 4-0 win over Western Nebraska. Ryan Romo threw a 5-inning no-hitter at Cloud County in 2008.
Davis’ 9 strikeouts tied French for the season-high by a Barton pitcher. French struck out 9 on Day 1 against Seward. Davis now has 26 strikeouts and 8 walks in 25.2 innings of work. His ERA dipped below 3.00 and is now 2.81.
Barton is now 7-1 on the 2nd day of West series play. The Cougars have won 7 straight 2nd day games after dropping the opening game of Day 2 at Garden in the 1st West series of the season. Barton won that 2nd game then swept Hutchinson, Pratt, and Seward on the 2nd day. The Cougars are just 2-6 on the opening day.
Extra base hits were at a minimum Day 2. In the opener all 13 of Barton’s hits were singles while Seward had a double among its 6 hits. In the nightcap Barton was able to produce 4 extra bases among the 13 while Seward went hitless. Only 5 of the combined 32 hits were for extra bases on the cold, damp day.