by Doug Page
WILSON, N.C. – A pair of strong starts by senior Trent Fennell and junior Dylan Ward guided the Barton College Bulldogs to a doubleheader sweep of Glenville State College on Friday at Nixon Field in non-conference baseball action. The Bulldogs won game one 8-3 and followed with a 6-0 shutout in game two.
The Bulldogs (2-3) got a five-hit performance from sophomore first baseman Chase Riker, while also getting a complete game shutout from Ward in game two. Glenville State (0-2) had its chances in game one, scoring in the early innings to keep things close before allowing BC to pull away in the middle innings.
Riker finished the day 5-for-6 at the plate with four runs batted in for the Bulldogs, while junior shortstop Gatlin Pate recorded a pair of hits including a two-run home run in game two. Pate also plated a pair of run in game one to go along with three runs scored on the day. Junior second baseman Ricks Dearing tallied a pair of hits and scored four-times batting in the lead-off spot for BC, while freshman left fielder Charlie Horne went 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored in game one.
Logan Henderson tallied three hits between the two games in the lead-off spot for the Pioneers, scoring a run and plating one. Bryan Bayliss went 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored in game one for Glenville State while going 1-for-2 in the second game.
Riker gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of game one with a single to center field. Riker plated Pate, who reached base with a walk and advanced to second following a wild pitch. The Pioneers answered in the top of the third inning against Fennell and the Bulldogs as Zach Bacon singled to right center. Glenville State started a rally with two outs in the frame as Henderson laced a double to left field and would score one batter later.
Barton regained the lead in the home portion of the third inning thanks to a two-run single by Pate. Junior centerfielder Troy Maslowski and Dearing scored on the play to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead. BC would load the bases after a double by Riker and a walk to freshman third baseman Colby Warren. Looking to put up a crooked number on the scoreboard early, Pioneers starter Brady Wilkinson recorded consecutive strikeouts and a pop-up to avoid any further damage.
Working with a two-run advantage, Fennell saw the Pioneers close within a run as Bayliss singled to center to make it 3-2. Fennell got out of the inning without any further damage thanks to a pop-up that would be caught by Warren. The Bulldogs doubled their lead in the bottom of the fourth as Horne scored from third on a wild pitch by Jacob Braniff, who took over for Wilkinson, who faced just two batters for Glenville State. Riker made it 5-2 with a single through the right side to plate Dearing with two outs in the inning.
A three-run bottom of the fifth inning staked the Bulldogs out to an 8-2 lead against the Pioneers. Horne plated freshman designated hitter Tate Proctor with a single to make it 6-2 after Proctor doubled down the right-field line to start the frame. Dearing followed with a single up the middle to score Horne from third. After a pitching change by Glenville State, Riker tallied his third RBI of the game with a single to score Dearing.
Fennell worked a 1-2-3 top of the sixth inning for BC, recording his eighth strikeout to start the frame and getting back-to-back fly balls to end the inning. Junior right-hander Chase Long would take over for Fennell to start the seventh inning for the Bulldogs. The Pioneers would score once against Long in the frame as Henderson singled through the left side to score Bayliss. A heads-up play by Warren, who cut-off a throw from Horne, would result in Henderson getting tagged-out at second. Bacon would fly-out to Maslowski in center field to record the third out and end the game.
Fennell (1-1) tossed six innings for BC, allowing two runs on five hits to go along with eight strikeouts and one walk. Wilkinson (0-1) suffered the loss for Glenville State, allowing five runs on six hits through three innings of work. Wilkinson fanned five batters while issuing four walks.
Ward did what he needed to do on the mound for Barton in the second game, tossing seven strong innings to help the Bulldogs complete the sweep of Glenville State. The Pioneers pressured Ward in the top of the first inning as Henderson started the game with an infield single. Following a walk to Bacon, BC recorded an out on the lead runner as Henderson was thrown out at third by Pate. Ward responded by fanning John Peloro and getting a groundout to strand a pair of runners on base.
The Bulldogs helped Ward out offensively, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning against Glenville State starter Wesley Stauffer. BC loaded the bases thanks to a pair of walks and one error by the Pioneers. A walk to Warren gave Barton a 1-0 lead and a sacrifice fly off the bat of freshman Mason Cooper upped the advantage to 2-0. A throwing error by the second baseman on a failed pickoff attempt allowed Riker to score from third to make it 3-0.
Glenville State laced a double to start the second inning as Tyler Phillips tallied his first hit of the day. Later in the frame, a stolen base put runners on second and third with only one out for the Pioneers. Ward and the Bulldogs would stop the rally by getting a pop-up and swinging strikeout to strand both runners. Riker recorded his lone hit of game two in the bottom of the inning, plating Dearing to up the Barton lead to 4-0.
With Ward in control on the mound for the Bulldogs, the BC offense gave him some more breathing room by scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Pate pushed the Barton lead to 6-0 by clubbing his first home run of the season to left center off Stauffer.
The Pioneers would strand a pair of runners on base in the top of the fifth inning but would be unable to plate a run against Ward and the BC defense. Ward retired the side in both the sixth and seventh innings to preserve the shutout and finish the game.
Ward (1-1) scattered four hits over seven innings of work en route to fanning seven batters and allowing just one walk. The groundball ruled the day for Ward, who recorded 12 outs on the ground compared to just two fly-ball outs. Stauffer (0-1) tossed 5.2 innings for the Pioneers and allowed six runs off four hits to go along with eight walks and five strikeouts.
The Bulldogs host Glenville State for two games on Saturday beginning at 12 p.m. Barton then faces Lenoir-Rhyne on Feb. 13 in Asheboro, N.C. for a pair of games beginning at 1 p.m.