Taking a break from the conference grind, the Barton Community College baseball team stepped out of conference play Wednesday taking a 13-2 game shortened seven inning loss to Hesston College at Lawson-Biggs Field. The Larks only outhit the Cougars by two in the contest but made the most of their eight hits including a fifth inning grand slam to cruise to the victory. The victory improves Hesston to 12-12 on the season while dropping the Cougars below the .500 mark at 16-17. The Cougars, tied for fifth in the Jayhawk West at 8-8, will head to second place Garden City Community College who sits in second place at 12-8 and 22-14 on the season for the weekend’s four-game conference series. Day one of the series will have a 3:00 p.m. first pitch for Friday’s doubleheader with Saturday’s twin bill beginning at 1:00 p.m.
The big story of the night was the performance of Hesston sophomore Corey Fowler. Batting around .250 on the season out of the six hole in the lineup, the Boone, Iowa, native went 4-for-4 driving in seven runs in hitting for the cycle. Fowler drove in his first run with a one-out triple in the second inning then two innings later drove in two more with a double keying the Larks’ pair of two-run innings.
Trevor Turner got the Cougars on the board in the home half of the second with a two-out double to right field driving home Tyler Jennings who singled one at-bat earlier. Following the Larks taking the 5-1 lead in the fourth, Watkins led off with a single up the middle and then Jennings came through like Turner did two innings earlier with a two-out double for his team leading second hit to cut the deficit to three.
The Larks broke the game wide open the following inning scoring six, four coming on the grand slam home run by Fowler after Hesston began the inning with three consecutive walks. Fowler completed the cycle one inning later sending a 2-1 pitch to left field capping the Larks scoring on the night with his seventh RBI.
Great Bend freshman Tristan Hall dropped to 0-2 on the season getting the start working three innings striking out two but Hesston scored three on only two hits.