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No. 10 Hutchinson ends Cougars' baseball season
spt Brent Biggs 002
Barton baseball coach Brent Biggs will lead the Cougars to the double-elimination portion of the Region VI Championships this weekend. The Cougars go in as the second seed in the region. Barton will take on Johnson County at 1 pm, Friday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

WICHITA – Bucklin's 1A pitcher Nathan Bowman gave it everything he could. 

The Barton Cougar pitcher threw brilliantly for 7-plus innings. But No. 10 Hutchinson Community College rallied for a 3-2 victory to eliminate the Cougars from the Region 6 baseball tournament. Barton ends the season with a 42-21 record.

All three Blue Dragon runners who scored reached base on walks.

"Nathan was really good and competed," said Cougar coach Brett Biggs. "We see him have that outing, makes it all worth it."

Cougar reliever Preston Golden (4-1) walked a pair of batters in the 10th inning. The Blue Dragons took advantage when Cooper Wesslund singled in speedy Kael Babin, who slid safely past catcher Grant Nottlemann after a solid throw by left fielder Cole Schieffer.

"We lost to the No. 1 and No. 10 teams in the country. It was a good tournament," said Biggs. "We had high expectations. This put a stamp on their legacy. Yo feel bad for the players."`  

The Cougars missed two golden opportunities in the first two innings. The Cougars batted 0 for 6 with runners in scoring opportunities. Robby Bolin was stranded at third base and Ayden Hadley was stranded at second base after a leadoff double. 

"If we score early, it's a different ballgame," Biggs said. "We had enough opportunities." 

Kyler Horsman doubled in Jaron Cotton and Hadley doubled home Nottlemann in the third inning. Hutchinson's Wesslund singled in Luis Pimental Guerrero in the third inning.

Bowman threw 72/3 innings in a brilliant 102-pitch performance with six strikeouts.

The Cougars' outfield trio of Schieffer, centerfielder Bolin and rightfielder Wyatt Yetter all made key defensive catches to preserve a 2-1 lead. Quinn Maher doubled in Wesslund after an eighth-inning walk for a 2-2 tie.

Horsman reached second base in the eighth, but was tagged out by Babin on Hunter Seier's groundball.

No. 1 Jayhawk East champion Johnson County (52-11) beat Jayhawk West champion Hutchinson (51-13) 14-6 to qualify for the 2024 NJCAA World Series at Junction City, Colo.HUTCHINSON 11, JOHNSON CO. 8 (10 innings) – Hutchinson scored on a pair of bases-loaded walks and Quinn Maher delivered a 2-run single for an 11-8 victory over Johnson County.  

Maher drove in four runs and Luis Pimental Guerrero drove in three runs.

Barton 002 000 000 0 – 2 7 0

Hutchinson 001 000 010 1 – 3 6 2

Bowman, Golden (8) and Nottlemann. Giesbrecht, Wilson (6), Roehler (9) and Gunderson. W–Roehler, 9-1. L–Golden, 4-1. 2B–B–Horsman, Adley; H–Maher.

Hutchinson 101 220 001 4 – 11 10 2

Johnson Co. 200 000 302 1 – 8 9 1

Roehler, Hadden (1), Snyder (7), Perkins (7) and Gunderson. Nototny, Bunting (5), Berggren (6), Norris (10), Infranca (10) and Kilgore. W–Perkins, 5-0. L–Norris. 2B–H–Gunderson 2; JC–Miller 2, Hepburn.


FIRST ROUND–Cowley 8, Dodge City 5; Barton 5, Hutchinson 3; Johnson County 9, Butler 3; Kansas City 3, Cloud 1

SECOND ROUND–Hutchinson 5, Dodge City 4; Butler 9, Cloud 0; Barton 9, Cowley 8; Johnson County 7, Kansas City 4

FRIDAY—Cowley 17, Butler 16; Hutchinson 9, Kansas City 8; Johnson 8, Barton 5; Hutchinson 8, Cowley 6

SATURDAY—Hutchinson 3, Barton 2; Hutchinson 11, Johnson County 8, 10 innings

SUNDAY—Johnson County 14, Hutchinson 6