Any hopes the Barton baseball team had for a Jayhawk West title went by the wayside over the weekend. Those left when Hutchinson swept the Cougars in a 4-game West series.
Hutchinson won Saturday’s doubleheader 8-4 and 13-3 then swept Sunday 7-5 and 7-4 at Hobart-Detter Field. Barton is now 9-11 in the West and 21-18 overall. Hutchinson is leading the West at 17-7. The Blue Dragons are 27-12 overall.
“It was another tough weekend for us in conference play,” Coach Brent Biggs said. “In the big picture of things we didn’t play terrible, we just gave up some big innings that really cost us. We are struggling to control innings right now and turning one mistake into three or four.”
Along with it may have gone a home field series to start post season play. Barton still a chance at a top four finish but needs to finish the conference slate like it started. Barton started 8-0 in the West but has gone 1-11 since.
In the series opener Saturday, the two teams went to the bottom of the sixth inning tied at 3-all before Hutchinson plated five runs to pull away for the win.
Barton had taken a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Corrigan Bartlett homered and Ryan McClure singled in Michael Sinks. After falling behind 3-2 the Cougars tied it in the top of the sixth on a Sinks double to score Drake Bliss.
Things fell apart for the Cougars in the bottom of the sixth as back-to-back doubles to start the inning to go with an error, a couple walks, a wild pitch along with some more hits allowed Hutch to put five on the scoreboard.
The second game Saturday wasn’t competitive for very long. Hutch scored 10 in the second inning for an 11-0 lead and cruised to the win.
The opener Sunday looked a lot like the opener from Saturday. The two teams went to the bottom of the sixth tied at 2-all before a 5-run inning by Blue Dragons gave them a big cushion into the final inning.
Barton did rally, but it came up short. The Cougars loaded the bases and with two outs Cole Henley laced a double to right, scoring McClure and Dayton Pomeroy to make it 7-4. That followed with a balk that scored Matthew Baca and it was 7-5.
That is where the rally ended.
In the series finale, Hutch scored four in the third and two in the fourth to put Barton in a 6-0 hole. The Cougars would get no closer than three rest of the way, leaving 13 runners on base in the process.
“I thought we did a decent job of competing this weekend and hit some balls hard right at people,” Coach Biggs said. “We are still a good team with quality players. This storm will pass and hopefully we will peak at the right time down the stretch.”
Barton has three West series left on the schedule to work itself back into the top half of the conference. That starts with weekend when Pratt pays a visit to Lawson-Biggs Field for a Saturday and Sunday doubleheader starting at 1pm both days.
First Barton will travel to the Bethany JV for action Tuesday in a single game.