Maybe it was the bit of momentum the Barton baseball team was looking for. Perhaps a split will be enough to give the Cougars and Coach Brent Biggs the confidence they were looking for.
Barton split games over the weekend with the Jayhawk West champion Colby. With the split Barton finished sixth in the West with 15-17 record. The Cougars are 29-25 overall. Colby locked up the confernce championship with a record of 23-9 in the West and 38-14 overall.
After splitting games Thursday to beat the rain on the way to Great Bend, the two teams returned to Lawson-Biggs Field Sunday to wrap up the series. Barton won the opener 8-4 the lost 11-5.
The split with the Trojans matched the most losses in a West series for Colby this year. For Barton, it was the third straight split of a West series after struggling through a mid-season slump.
“I thought overall it was a good weekend against Colby,” Coach Biggs said. “We showed some signs of toughness in difficult situations which we had lacked the past month or so. Offensively we had some really good at bats 1-9 and were able to execute several times that lead to big innings.”
Barton will turn its focus to the Region VI Championships and a first round match up with Kansas City Kansas. KCK tied of third with Johnson County but won the tiebreaker by taking 3 of 4 from the Cavaliers earlier this year.
Barton will travel to KCK for a best 2-of-3 series with the Blue Devils this weekend. The two teams will play a doubleheader Saturday at 1 pm. If a third game is needed it will take place Sunday at 1 pm.
Barton used a big third inning to take the lead in the opener then put some distance between itself and Colby with another big sixth inning.
Trailing 3-1 into third inning, Barton scored four times to take the lead for good on the Trojans. Three straight 1-out singles cut it to 3-2 after Taylor Langston singled in Cole Henley.
Drake Bliss tied the game with two outs on a single that drove in Ryan Schippers. Michael Sinks then gave Barton a 5-3 on a double that scored Langston and Bliss.
Colby whittled the lead to 5-4 in the fourth but Barton score three big runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Ryan McClure singled in Sinks to make it 6-4 then Dayton Pomeroy’s sacrifice bunt scored Corrigan Bartlett. Barron tacked on another run when Schipper’s sac fly scored McClure.
McClure also picked up the win on the mound to improve to 2-0 on the season while Mason Hiser shut down Colby the final two innings to notch the save.
Colby took control of the nightcap with a 4-run sixth inning to grab a 7-1 lead on the Cougars.
Barton would get the lead down to 7-4 but three more Trojan runs in the ninth put the game out of reach.
Pomeroy had three hits in the loss as Barton pounded out 15 hits – the same number as Colby.
With the regular season behind them, the focus turns to the post season for Barton.
“This group can beat anyone in the conference when they are loose and playing with confidence,” Coach Biggs said.