CONCORDIA – The Barton baseball team was on the verge of a sweep Friday at Concordia. A sweep that would be big in a crowded Jayhawk West race.
But just five outs away from that sweep, things slipped away from Barton. The Cougars gave up three runs in the bottom of eighth inning in the second game and left town with a split against Cloud County.
Barton won the opener 8-2 then lost the nightcap by a 4-3 score.
The split kept Barton in a 5-way tie for the top spot in the West. Barton is 13-9 in the West and 26-13 overall. Colby and Hutchinson are 11-7. Butler is 12-8. Seward is 13-9 as well.
Cloud isn’t far behind either at 10-8. Oh, and Garden City is still in the mix 9-9. Seven of the nine teams in the West within a couple games of each other at the top.
The Cougars and T-Birds will finish their 4-game series Sunday in Great Bend.
Barton scored in four of the seven innings of the opener on the way to the win.
The Cougars did that on that on just four hits as Cloud helped out Barton repeatedly in the first game. Barton scored two runs on just one hit in both the second and third innings to make it 4-1 game.
The Cougars added two more in the sixth without getting a hit and added two more in the seventh on just one hit.
Cloud would commit three errors, walk six batters, hit three batsmen and toss in a wild pitch that all helped Barton tally those eight runs.
Zach Curry, meanwhile, was solid on the mound for Barton. The sophomore gave up just three hits and two runs while striking out 10 in his five innings of work to improve to 4-2.
Brett Erickson had two of the Cougars’ four hits, drove in three and scored twice.
Both teams put up a bunch of zeros early in the second game as Cloud took a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning of the 9-inning game.
Barton tied it a 1-all in the sixth when Erickson drove in Harrison Denk with two outs in the inning.
The Cougars took a 3-1 lead in the next inning. Andrew Stewart’s sacrifice bunt brought home Chandler Bloomer for the lead then Noah Geekie followed with a triple to score Noah Rheinheimer.
But things got away from Barton in the bottom of the eighth as Cloud matched its run production from the rest of the doubleheader combined in the one inning.
Cloud scored three times in the inning to take a 4-3 lead.
The Cougars loaded the bases in the top of the ninth with just one out but could not get a run across the plate.
First pitch at Lawson-Biggs Field Sunday is scheduled for 1 pm.
Barton 8, Cloud 2
Barton 022 002 2 -- 8 4 2
Cloud 010 010 0 -- 2 3 3
Curry, Richter (6) and Rheinheimer; Jans, Marsh (6), Theilen (6), Dauer (7) and Larson. W – Curry (4-2). L – Jans (1-3). 2B – Larson, Cloud.
Cloud 4, Barton 3
Barton 000 001 200 – 3 6 1
Cloud 010 000 03x – 4 10 5
Smith, Crisp (6), Howe (8) and Rheinheimer; Karall, Peters (7), Dietel (9) and Larsen. W – Peters (3-2). L – Crisp (0-3). S – Dietel (1). 2B – Laukkanen, Cloud. 3B – Geekie, Barton.