by Cory Guinn
WILSON, N.C. – In the final game of a three-game Conference Carolinas series, the Barton baseball team suffered a 17-8 defeat at the hands of King (Tenn.) University on Saturday afternoon at Fleming Stadium.
The Bulldogs (18-11, 3-8) who won the first two games of the series on Friday night, were unable to claim their first series sweep of the season after allowing 17 runs on 19 hits, including three home runs, and issuing 10 walks to the Tornado (10-14, 2-10).
Senior Kerry Walker (5-3) struggled on the mound in his seventh start of the season, allowing 10 runs (nine earned) on 11 hits over 3.1 innings of work.
Fellow senior Justin Evans came on in relief and allowed just two hits over 2/3 of an inning, but the next four BC relievers combined to allow seven runs on just four hits. Sophomore Brent Godfrey produced a hitless inning of relief for the second appearance in a row.
King opened the game with 10 total runs over the first four innings of play, with Barton's first run coming in the third on a solo home run from senior Andrew Webster.
A three-run home run for the Tornado in the fifth pushed the King lead to 13-1 before senior Calvin Hawke answered with a two run home run to center field in the bottom half of the inning. KU hit its second three-run home run in the top of the seventh, while Webster sent his second home run of the game and 15th of the season over the fence in the bottom of the frame.
Junior Hunter Pearre eventually brought Maslowski home from third with a sacrifice fly, before an RBI double from Webster scored the inning's third run. Barton's fourth run came via an RBI single from Hawke but a pitching change proved effective as BC's final batter of the inning flied out to right center field.
The Tornado produced its final run of the game with an RBI double in the top of the ninth. The Bulldogs were able to get runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the inning, but back-to-back swinging strikeouts stranded the runners and ended the game.
Webster was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with two doubles, two home runs, four runs scored and three RBI. Hawke was also perfect on offense, finishing 3-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and two walks, while Maslowski was 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI.
Barton will host non-conference opponent Catawba College on Tuesday, March 21 in the team's next contest before traveling to Southern Wesleyan University next weekend to continue league play.