If the Barton baseball team wants to compete at a high level in the Jayhawk West this season it first had to take care of business in the conference-opening series this past weekend.
The Cougars were riding a 5-game winning streak. Cloud County had just two wins all season. Barton probably needed at least three wins to show the league it could contend.
The Cougars got four wins. Barton swept the series in Concordia, edging out the Thunderbirds in the opener then winning easily the final three games.
Barton has now won nine straight. The Cougars are 11-5 overall and tied at 4-0 at the top of the West with Hutchinson. Hutchison opened with a sweep of Pratt – which has lost 10 straight.
Cloud is now 2-15.
Barton had to score four times in the seventh and final inning of the opener Saturday to scratch out a 7-4 win. In fact, Barton scored all seven run the final two innings after trailing 4-0.
The Cougars used a big fifth inning in the second game Saturday on the way to a 10-1 win. Barton exploded for 10 runs in the fourth inning during a 15-4 win Sunday. The Cougars closed out Sunday with a 15-7 win thanks to yet another big inning.
Barton trailed 4-0 in the opener until Dayton Pomeroy singled with the bases loaded in the sixth to score two.
Trailing 4-3 heading in the final inning, the Cougars showed some more mettle. The scoring started with two on and one out when Drake Bliss tied the game with a single to center. Michael Sinks gave Barton the lead on a bunt that scored Derek Johnson.
Ryan McClure’s double scored two more and the Cougars were suddenly up 7-4. Mason Hiser came in and closed the door for the save and get Barton started on the right foot. Taylor Langston threw three scoreless innings in relief to pick up the win.
The Cougars blew open a 1-1 game with a big fifth inning in Saturday’s nightcap. Barton never had more than a single in the inning – knocking out six of those to go along with a walk, wild pitch and error. That allowed Barton to score six runs and take control of the game.
Austin Taylor allowed just one run and struck out seven in his six innings of work to pick up the win. Barton had 11 hits in the game led by Bliss with three. Pomeroy drove in three.
Barton rolled to a 5-inning win in the opener Sunday, scoring three times in the third and 10 in the fourth to build a 13-0 lead.
Sinks led Barton’s hitting attack with three as the Cougars banged out 13 hits. Mason Hightower drove in three and six different Cougars scored twice.
The Cougars had to rally again the in the final game but not as dramatically as the first. Barton trailed 4-3 into the seventh of nine innings when the Cougars put up nine runs to take the doubt out of the game.
Pomeroy had a huge game, highlighted by a 3-run homer to cap off the 9-run inning. Pomeroy had two home runs in the win. He went 3-for-3 with four RBI and four runs scored.
Hiser threw four scoreless inning in relief to pick up the win.
The Cougars will have another midweek game with Brown Mackie Wednesday before getting back into conference action this weekend.
Brown Mackie will come to Great Bend for a 5 pm single game at Lawson-Biggs Field.
Butler will come to town this weekend for a four game series starting Saturday at 1 pm. It will be the opening conference series for the Grizzlies who are 10-7 overall.