HUTCHINSON — After dropping both games on Saturday, the No. 16-ranked Barton Community College baseball team found itself needing a win on Sunday to split the weekend series with Hutchinson.
On Saturday the host Blue Dragons took two seven-inning games from the Cougars by winning 12-4, 8-2.
Barton fought off a couple of late-inning rallies from the Blue Dragons in Sunday’s nine-inning game to win 4-3, evening the weekend Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference series.
Barton (14-3 overall, 2-2 KJCCC) grabbed a quick one-run lead after the first inning and added another in the top of the third, but Hutchinson gained control of Game 1 on Saturday as the Blue Dragons scored five runs in the third and two in the fourth.
Barton attempted to climb back in the game scoring one in each of the fifth and sixth innings only to have Hutchinson (6-5, 2-2) answer with five of their own in the home half of the sixth.
Cougar pitching surrendered only four earned runs on eight hits but 10 walks, aided by three errors, keyed big Hutchinson third and sixth innings.
Unlike the first game of the day, Game 2 was all Hutchinson as the Blue Dragons struck for eight runs in the first four innings by scoring three runs in the first, two in the second, and three in the fourth.
On Sunday, the Cougars scored one in the first inning only to have Hutchinson score one in each of the second and third innings to take a 2-1 lead into the fifth.
Leading off the top of the fifth with a single, Adam Geisick stole second and third base to put pressure on the Hutch defense. Federico Castagnini’s double scored Geisick then was driven home from second base by a Clayton Garland single.
The Cougars carried a one-run lead into the ninth but two Hutchinson errors led to an insurance run for Barton headed to the bottom half.
After a BB Kimbrell leadoff triple and a walk to Jordan Maynard, Hutchinson would cut the Barton lead to one as Justin Harris squeezed Kimbrell home. With runners at first and third, Welch got the next two batters to fly out to the Barton infield and the Cougars evened the series with the 4-3 victory.
Leading the Cougars offense over the weekend was sophomore Geisick. Batting in the lead off position, Geisick batted .687 with a .722 on base percentage and scored seven times in the four games. In Barton’s two losses on Saturday, Geisick was 7-for-8 with a double and an RBI to go along with a perfect 1.000 at-bat percentage.
The Cougars will be back in action this weekend for a four game series with Pratt Community College at Barton’s Lawson-Biggs Field. First pitch of Friday’s nine-inning game is at 4 p.m.