It was just the Coach Brent Biggs was hoping for. His Barton baseball had not burst out of the gate like he had hoped they would the first couple weeks of the season.
The Cougars were just 2-5. They had just lost three straight – being swept by Rose State in Oklahoma.
The home opener gave Barton just the results it needed. The Cougars first game at home was an easy win and they followed with three more exciting wins to sweep Western Nebraska.
The Cougars opened the 4-game wood bat series with a 15-5 win over Western Nebraska Saturday and followed with a 7-5 win in the nightcap. The Cougars swept a pair of thrillers Sunday, winning 13-10 and 11-10.
The sweep gave the Cougars a winning record at 6-5 on the season. Western Nebraska is now 3-11.
“The series sweep came at the perfect time leading into conference play,” Coach Biggs said. “The elements presented a lot of adversity on both Saturday and Sunday and I thought for the most part we handled it well.
“The first two weekends we struggled with any adversity and it was a good sign to see us compete and fight regardless of what situation came up. It’s wasn’t always pretty at times but we found a way to win four games and sweep a series.”
The weekend ended with a dramatic 6-run rally in the final inning for the 11-10 win.
In the opening game of the weekend, Barton scored seven times in the fourth inning to blow a close game open. Barton led just 5-4 heading into the inning. The Cougars closed it out with three more runs in the sixth to win by run-rule.
Trey Pittman carried the Cougars in the opener, going 4-for-4 at the plate and driving in six runs. He ended the game with a 3-run homer and also had two doubles in the win. Barton had 15 hits.
Garret Rogers picked up his first win of the season, going five innings and allowing three earned run while striking out eight. Rogers is now 1-2 on the season.
The Cougars led most of Saturday’s nightcap, scoring three times in the third to take a 4-1 lead. Barton opened it to 7-3 in the bottom of the seventh then held on for the 7-5 win.
Dayton Pomeroy drove in three in the win, highlighted by a 2-run double in the third to put Barton on top 3-1. Austin Taylor picked up the win going five innings and allowing just one run on three hits. Mason Hiser worked the final 3.2 innings for his first save.
Sunday Barton rallied in both games to complete the sweep.
In the first game, Barton fell behind 6-2 in the top of the fourth before the first rally took place. Barton scored four times in the fourth to tie it and two more in the fifth to take an 8-6 lead.
Western Nebraska scored four times in the sixth to re-take a 10-8 lead before Barton countered with five in the bottom of the sixth to win 13-10.
That bottom of the sixth started with back-to-back hit batsmen. Pomeroy delivered a 2-run bases loaded single to tie the game at 10. Cole Hensley drove in Drake Bliss to give Barton an 11-10 lead. The Cougars added two more for the final score.
Taylor Langston pitched the final 1.2 innings to pick up the win on the mound. Langston is 1-0.
The Cougars saved the most exciting game for last. Barton did trailed 10-5 heading into the bottom of the seventh and final inning.
Sinks led off the 7th with a single and McClure and Pittman followed suit to load the bases with no outs. Sinks would score on a wild pitch and McClure on an error to make it 10-7.
Ryan Schippers single up the middle with the bases loaded to cut the lead to 10-8 and Derek Johnson followed with a single to score Cole Hensley and it was 10-9.
Another error by Western Nebraska allowed Langston to score the tying run. Bliss ended the game with a single to score Schippers.
Nathan Morris picked up the win in relief, throwing a scoreless top of the 7th.
Barton will play a single 9-inning game Wednesday against Brown Mackie at Cougar Fields before heading to Concordia for a 4-game series this weekend against Cloud County to start Jayhawk West play.