Even an hour and a half rain delay Sunday at Lawson-Biggs Field couldn’t slow down the Barton Community College baseball team as the Cougars took two more games from Butler Community College sweeping the weekend series. The Cougars got a masterful pitching performance from Jackson Rose in winning 5-0 then put up a seven run fifth inning taking the nightcap 14-10. The victory is the fourteenth straight for the Cougars improving to 8-0 in conference play and 16-5 overall while Butler begins its conference season 0-4 dropping to 10-11 on the season. Barton will step away from conference play for its next six games beginning Thursday as the Cougars host North Iowa Area Community College in a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader before a weekend home series versus Metropolitan Community College-Longview.
The Cougars struck for three runs in the second before rain delayed the masterful start from Jackson Rose striking out three of the first six batters. As the rain began to fall in the second inning, the Cougars thrived in the deteriorating conditions with Ryan McClure leading off with a single and following Corrigan Bartlett reaching base on a hit-by-pitch, Cole Henley singled in the game winner. Bartlett would also score on the play on an infield error allowing Henley to motor around all the way to third base, scoring one batter later on Trey Pittman’s single to right.
After a discussion with coaches and umpires, the tarp made its appearance for the next hour and half but did little to phase the sophomore from Omaha on the mound. Rose sent down the next three batters then in the fourth got a little help from the defense rolling up a double play erasing a leadoff walk before steamrolling his way through the fifth striking out two more batters. Getting the first two batters out to begin the sixth, Rose’s no-hit bid came to an end as the Grizzlies’ Channing Williams laced a 2-2 pitch into right field. Rose battled back striking out the final batter of the inning then after giving up a leadoff double in the seventh, struck out his ninth Grizzly before retiring the final two batters improving to 2-0 on the season.
Barton tacked on two more runs in the game as leadoff singles by Drake Bliss and Henley crossed the plate in the third and sixth innings respectively on wild pitches.
Butler came out swinging in the series finale loading the bases before an infield error produced two of the three runs in the inning. The Cougars answered with a McClure single driving home Michael Sinks in the home half but the Grizzlies got the run back in the second moving a leadoff single around the paths scoring on a one out single.
Consecutive hit-by-pitches began the Cougar home half before Matthew Baca began his 4-for-5 game with his first of three RBIs with a single to center. Sinks and Dayton Pomeroy kept the inning going delivering consecutive two-out doubles as the Cougars tied it up at four.
Starting pitcher Cody Brewer settled the Butler bats down for the next couple of innings but started to run into trouble in the fifth giving up a leadoff double and single. Brant Millerborg was greeted with an RBI single before retiring the next two batters but a single up the middle would drive home the Grizzlies second run of the inning.
Barton responded in a big way in the home half as a walk by Henley and a single by Ryan Schippers set up the scoring. A double by Baca and Schippers scoring on a wild pitch tied the contest and following a Drake Bliss walk, Baca crossed for the go ahead run on Sinks’ sac bunt. Pomeroy, who along with Baca would have a monster game at the plate with three hits and three RBIs, tripled to right field taking the lead to three. A McClure walk later, Bartlett picked up his second hit with a single to left and one out later McClure would cap the inning’s scoring crossing on a wild pitch giving Barton an 11-6 lead.
Butler wouldn’t go away getting a single run in each of the next two innings to draw within three but the Cougars had the answer in the seventh plating three to increase the lead out to six. Pomeroy and Bartlett drew walks on either side of McClure’s second hit of the game but the Grizzlies’ reliever Ben Ramberg appeared to be getting out of the jam with no damage done. Inducing a force out at the plate followed by a strikeout, Ramberg again got a strikeout but a dropped ball allowed all runners to reach their destination safely. Three pitches later Baca delivered another RBI single and thanks to an error on the play another Cougar run crossed for the 14-8 lead.
The Grizzlies would score two in the eighth but that was all they would get as Mason Hiser came in to strand the bases loaded with a harmless fly out before inducing a game ending double play ball in the ninth. A day after pitching the final 3.2 innings to get the win in Saturday’s extra inning victory, Hiser earned his first collegiate save on Sunday with 1.1 innings of relief while Millerborg also earned his first victory credited for win after his one inning of middle relief.