by Cory Guinn
ELON, N.C. – For the second straight contest the Barton baseball team held an early lead that slipped away in the late innings, leading to a 13-5 defeat at the hands of Pfeiffer University on day two of the 2017 Conference Carolinas Tournament.
The fourth-seeded Bulldogs were eliminated from the postseason following the loss, while the sixth-seeded Falcons won for the second time on the weekend to advance.
After the Falcons scored a run in the top of the first inning, Barton took a 2-1 lead on an RBI double from senior Andrew Webster in the bottom half that scored fellow senior Tyler Garrett and sophomore Troy Maslowski.
Barton and Pfeiffer both went scoreless over the next three innings of play until the Falcons scored a run in the fifth inning to tie the game and took a 4-2 lead with a two-run sixth inning. Pfeiffer opened its lead to an 11-2 advantage with a seven-run seventh inning, highlighted by a grand slam from second baseman Derek Perry.
The Falcons scored once more in the eighth before Barton brought three runs across the plate in the home half of the inning on a three-run home run from sophomore Gatlin Pate. Pfeiffer's final run came in the top of the ninth as the Bulldogs left the bases loaded in the final inning, putting an end to any hopes of a rally.
Junior Trent Fennell started on the mound for Barton and went five innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and four walks. Fellow junior Andrew Davis (3-7) suffered the loss after allowing two runs on two hits and four walks over just 1/3 of an inning of relief.
Maslowski and fellow sophomore Ricks Dearing each had three hits in the contest, while Garrett was 2-for-5 at the plate. Pate was also 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI, while Webster was 1-for-2 with two RBI and two walks.
Barton concluded the 2017 season with a 28-23 overall record and appeared in its third league tournament in the last four years.