by Cory Guinn
WILSON, N.C. – Both games of a doubleheader against Kutztown University ended in walk-off fashion for the Barton baseball team on Wednesday afternoon with the Bulldogs coming out on top 9-8 and 7-6 at Nixon Field.
The Bulldogs (16-10) got back to its winning ways and broke a seven-game losing streak after pounding out 28 total hits, including seven of the extra-base variety. The Bears of Kutztown fell to 8-7 overall after the two losses.
Game One: Barton 9, Kutztown 8
Kutztown opened up the first game of the day with two runs in the first and another in the third to build a 3-1 lead over Barton, which scored its first run in the bottom of the second inning on a sacrifice fly from senior Shawn Montren.
Senior Andrew Webster singled to right field, driving in a run to extend the Barton lead to 5-3 in the fourth inning, before the Bears scored twice in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 5-all. However, Davis hit his second RBI double of the game, driving in two runs in the sixth inning to put BC back ahead 7-5.
The Bears responded with two runs of their own in the top of the seventh, taking advantage of a Barton fielding error as Barton left the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings in a game that was only schedule to last seven innings.
In the eighth inning, a bases loaded walk put Kutztown back in front by a run until junior Christian Dix tied the game once again at 8-8 with an RBI single in the bottom half of the frame. KU was held scoreless in the ninth as freshman Hayden Amodeo, inserted into the game as a pinch runner, was the winning run after a throwing error from the Bears' first baseman allowed him to score from second.
Senior Justin Evans got his first start of the season for Barton and went three innings, allowing three runs on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Freshman Landry Moore allowed two runs on three hits with a strikeout over two innings of relief, while sophomore Chase Long allowed just one hit and struck out a batter in his first appearance of the year out of the bullpen.
Junior Trent Fennell and redshirt-junior Josh Mims pitched the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, as senior Kerry Walker (5-2) picked up the win after coming on in relief in the ninth and final inning.
Davis led the BC offense in game one, finishing 2-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI, while sophomore Troy Maslowski was 3-for-5 in the leadoff spot. Seven different Bulldogs had at least two hits for Barton, as each starter recorded a hit in the contest.
Game Two: Barton 7, Kutztown 6 (Seven inn.)
The Barton offense continued its success early in the second game of the day as Davis once again drove in two runs with an RBI single in the first inning for an early 2-0 lead.
Kutztown cut the lead in half with a run in the second inning before erupting for five runs on five hits and two walks in the fourth to build a 6-3 advantage.
Montren singled in a run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the deficit to two runs until a solo home run from Webster, his 13th of the season, and an RBI double from Riker cut the Kutztown lead to 6-5 after five innings of play.
Barton put its first two batters of the sixth inning on base with a double from Dix and a single from Montren to put runners on the corners with no outs. Maslowski then tied the game, using a sacrifice bunt to drive in the runner from third and give the Bulldogs new life.
After the Bears went down in order in the top of the seventh, freshman Matt Daughtry reached first on an error by the Kutztown shortstop to begin the bottom half of the inning.
Amodeo was once again put in the game as a pinch runner and advanced to third after Riker drew a walk and senior Jacob Willis used a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over. Sophomore Gatlin Pate hit a ball to right field that got caught in the wind and dropped in between three Kutztown defenders, allowing the winning run to cross the plate.
Sophomore Jordan Ramos also hit first start of the season and went 3.1 innings, allowing six runs on six hits with five walks and three strikeouts. Fellow sophomores Ryan Pifer and Brent Godfrey combined for 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, as Dylan Ward (4-2) got the win after a perfect inning out of the bullpen with two strikeouts.
Riker was 2-for-3 in game two with a double and an RBI, while senior Calvin Hawke was also 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Webster was just 1-for-1 with his solo home run after drawing three walks, as Montren turned in a 2-for-3 performance.
Barton will look to continue its success this weekend when it hosts Conference Carolinas foe King (Tenn.) University in a three-game series at Nixon Field. Game one is scheduled to begin on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.