The Barton Community College baseball team had more to play for on Saturday at Lawson-Biggs Field than keeping its National Junior College Athletic Association Region VI playoff hopes alive.
Amongst the importance of wins and losses, the Cougars played for teammate Skylar Hill, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Riding the emotion of seeing Hill throw out the first pitch of Saturday’s doubleheader against Hutchinson, the Cougars scored nine runs in the first four innings to win Game 1, 9-6. The Blue Dragons countered in Game 2, scoring single runs in five of the seven innings to win 5-1 and improve to 19-28 overall, 13-18 in region play.
“In my 34 years of coaching,” Barton Head Coach Mike Warren said, “Skylar Hill throwing out the first pitch today with his teammates gathered around him was the most moving experience in my career.”
The victory by Hutchinson, coupled with Friday evening’s 8-7 victory, leaves the Cougars in desperate need to win the series finale today to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.
Barton, 15-33, 10-21, are tied with Pratt for the eighth and final seed for the Region VI playoffs. Owning the tiebreaker over Pratt due to the Cougars taking 3-of-4 from the Beavers earlier in the season, the Cougars can better their chances with a win in today’s nine-inning game, starting at 2 p.m.
Pratt travels to Butler for a four-game series today and Monday.