The Barton Community College baseball team split another doubleheader during this early portion of the season Friday at Lawson-Biggs Field battling Division II No. 20 Des Moines Area Community College. The Cougars nearly pulled off a four-run deficit comeback in the first game rallying for three runs in the sixth but fell just short 5-4. Behind solid pitching and three first inning runs, the Cougars defeated the Bears in the nightcap 5-1. Splitting all four of their season’s doubleheaders, Barton stands at 4-3 on the season while DMACC moves to 2-3. Weather permitting the teams will wrap up their three-game series on Saturday with a nine inning game set for 12:00 p.m.
Despite striking out three batters in the first inning, Barton starter Blaine Hill couldn’t escape the first inning unscathed. A one-out hit batsman of the Bears’ Edwin Collazo set up Brad Mathiowetz double down the left field line giving DMACC their first run. An Anthony Mrosla two-out single to left drove home Mathiowetz in building a two run early lead. An infield error to open up the second allowing Robert Hansen to reach base cost the Cougars as one batter later Edwin Gonzalez doubled deep to left center pushing the lead out to three. Barton chipped away at the deficit in the home half as Grant Watkins led off with a walk scoring three pitches later on the one-out Lance White double to center drawing Barton to within one.
Both teams stranded two runners in the third but a leadoff double by the number nine hitter Zac Repinski got it rolling in the fourth. Following a four-pitch walk to Kelly and a double steal, Hill came back to strike out Collazo for the first out. Three pitches later Mathiowetz pushed the lead back out to three with a single to left center driving home Repinski. The double-play trio of Dylan Kuhn, Evan McDonald, and Watkins got Hill out of the inning without further damage rolling up Jacob Adams’ ground ball into 6-4-3 inning killer.
After a quiet fourth inning for Barton, Mrosla opened up the visitor fifth lining a triple down the right field line. Eric Weisbrod wasted no time driving the first pitch down the left field line giving DMACC the last of their five runs.
Held to two hits through five innings, McDonald got the first of four hits in the inning setting the stage with a leadoff single up the middle. After a passed ball and Watkins ground out, Bryce Minor executed a ground ball to the right side of the diamond to easily score McDonald. Getting ahead in the count 2-1, White belted a towering shot over the left field wall for his first home run as a Cougar. Trevor Hughes appeared to be the third out of the inning with a towering infield pop-up but Gonzalez couldn’t make the play as Hughes hustled around first sliding into second on the two-base error. Kuhn would draw Barton to within one with a double to right field but following a Farrington single, Turner was robbed by right fielder Mrosla’s running catch to end the inning.
Barton rolled up their second double-play of the game to end the seventh but a McDonald one-out walk was all the Cougars could manage as Cody Harmon sealed the deal for winning pitcher Michael Peters.
Lance White was the lone multi-hit player in the Barton lineup with a double and home run while driving in two of the Cougars’ two runs. Minor and Kuhn produced the other two Barton runs as each drove home a run in the sixth inning. Hill took the loss pitching four innings with four hits, two walks, and a career high nine strikeouts while giving up four runs. Shane Adams had a solid relief effort giving up only one hit, walking two, and striking out four in two innings of work.
Peters earned the win for DMACC going five innings scattering three hits, four walks, and four strikeouts as Barton managed just one run under his watch. Mathiowetz, Mrosla, and Weisbrod each had two hits driving in four runs between them as the Bears finished with a 10-6 hit advantage.
Game two appeared more of the same from the Bears as Kelly greeted Jordan Plank with a triple to right field. Getting Collazo on a strikeout, Plank’s full count pitch to Mathiowetz flied out to right field giving DMACC their lone run of the game.
The Cougars responded in the home half with Turner leading off with a single to center. Barton went on to load the bases with Richardson drawing a walk and McDonald receiving a free pass taking a pitch to the body. Watkins sacrifice fly scored Turner then Minor came up with the big blow lacing a double just inside the left field foul line giving Barton a 3-1 lead.
Both Plank and the Bears’ starting hurler Christian Michener held the batters in check for the second but Barton would add an insurance run in the third. An infield error gave Richardson two bags with a passed ball getting the sophomore to third to begin the third. Getting the benefit of another Bears error, Watkins ground ball to the right side scored Richardson as Barton took a 4-1 lead.
For the second straight inning the Bears would go down in order while the Cougars would push across another run in part to more Bears misplays. Following a one-out single, Kuhn moved around the base paths on a passed ball, then following a Richardson walk, scored on McDonald reaching beating out a dropped third strike throw to first.
Plank would close out his remaining two of six innings of work only allowing a two-out single in the fifth and pitching out of a leadoff infield error and walk in the sixth.
Alexander Evans came in to pitch the final three innings getting out a two-out bases loaded jam in the eighth to earn his third save of the season.
Plank picked up the win improving to 3-0 on the season lowering his ERA to 1.59 working six innings of three-hit ball resulting in one run, a walk, and three strikeouts. Evans also struck out three going three innings with four hits and one walk.
Minor led the six-hit attack with a 3-for-4 effort driving in the two runs on his double while Watkins was 1-for-2 and two runs batted in.
Michener took the loss going five innings striking out seven while surrendering five runs, three of those earned, and limited the Barton bats to four hits but gave up three walks.
Weisbrod led the seven hit attack going 2-for-4 with Mathiowetz’ first inning sac fly being the lone RBI