The series was moved up once to weather concerns. Then moved up a second time.
It was all looking good for the Barton baseball team at the end of Thursday’s doubleheader. The teams were going to beat the rain scheduled for the weekend and Barton had swept Thursday’s games.
But it wasn’t as good on Friday for the Cougars. Pratt came back to sweep Friday’s games and in the end the teams split the four game series.
Barton won Thursday, 8-5 and 10-3 but lost Friday, 11-9 and 11-10.
With the split, Barton is now 11-13 in the Jayhawk West and 24-20 overall. Pratt is 8-16 and 18-28. The Cougars are solidly in sixth place in the standings – three games out of fifth and three games clear of Pratt in seventh.
There are just eight West games left so the chances of Barton staying in that sixth slot are pretty good.
That would mean a road trip to start the post-season.
Thursday, Barton used a big fourth inning to win the opener. The game was tied at 2-all heading into the bottom of the fourth when Barton scored five times. Ryan McClure delivered the big blow in the inning with a 2-run homer.
Pratt rallied with three in the sixth but it wasn’t enough as Barton won the opener.
McClure ended the game with three RBI on the homer and a double. Drake Bliss drove in a pair on two hits and Taylor Langston scored three times.
Garrett Rogers pitched into the seventh to pick up the win.
In the second game Thursday, Barton took control in the seventh inning of the 9-inning game – again on the strength of a 5-run inning.
Barton led 3-2 into the seventh. McClure drove in pair with a single that scored Sinks and Corrigan Bartlett to give Barton a 7-2 lead.
McClure again led Barton with four RBI, this time on three hits. Ryan Schippers had three hits and three RBI while Bartlett added three hits and scored three times.
In addition to his hitting, McClure picked up the win on the mound as well. He went seven innings and allowed just two runs and struck out 10.
Things weren’t so good for the Cougars with a strong wind blowing out Friday. Pratt jumped to an 8-0 lead with a 6-run second inning. The Cougars rallied to tie the game at 9-all after five innings.
The game was still tied after seven, making it the 9-inning game for the day. Pratt scored two times in the eighth for the win.
Bliss and Dayton Pomeroy both homered for the Cougars in the loss.
Barton again fell behind in the final game of the series as Pratt took a 5-0 lead in the top of the first and led 8-3 after the third. The Beavers increased that lead to 11-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Barton made a game of it in the bottom of the sixth.
Pomeroy belted a 2-run homer and Mason Hightower did likewise to make it 11-8 with just one out.
Two walks and a hit batsmen loaded the bases. Sinks grounded out to score Matthew Baca. After Bartlett was hit by pitch McClure drew a walk to score Cole Henley and make it an 11-10 game.
The rally ended there when Pomeroy struck out. The Cougars went down in order in the seventh.
Barton has a contest scheduled at Hesston Tuesday if the weather permits before traveling to Liberal for four West games next weekend.
First positive case of COVID-19 confirmed in Barton County