by Doug Page
WILSON, N.C. – Senior right-hander Trent Fennell dazzled from start to finish in a game one victory for the Barton College Bulldogs, fanning a career-high 16 batters in a 3-2 win against the Clarion University Golden Eagles. Barton had an offensive explosion in game two as the Bulldogs tallied eight runs in the seventh inning en route to a 9-4 victory.
Barton (9-15) saw Fennell toss a complete seven innings in game one, while the BC bullpen tossed 4.1 scoreless innings in game two after the Golden Eagles scored four early runs. Clarion (3-6) had its rally cut short in the first game after scoring twice in the top of the fifth inning and couldn't hold onto a 4-1 lead in the second game.
Freshman Hunter Little tallied four hits on the day for Barton while scoring three runs and finishing with one run batted in. Junior Gatlin Pate recorded a pair of two-hit games for the Bulldogs and was responsible for scoring two runs to go along with two RBI. Junior Troy Maslowski recorded a team-high three RBI on the day while adding three hits for BC. Junior Ricks Dearing had a four-hit day from the lead-off spot for the Bulldogs while scoring one run.
Chandler Palyas paced the Golden Eagles offensively in the first game as Palyas delivered a two-RBI triple off Fennell to right field. Dillion Wolbert had a 3-for-4 effort at the plate in the second game and drove in one run for Clarion, while Brady Andrews and Nick Fugh each recorded two hits in the game for the Golden Eagles.
Fennell started-off on the right foot for the Bulldogs in game one, striking out a pair of batters in the top of the first inning. He would follow that up by working around a lead-off single and fan each of the next three batters to strand the runner at second.
The Bulldogs gave Fennell some offensive support in the bottom of the third inning as Little plated Dearing with a single to right-center to make it 1-0. With Little and Pate both on base, Maslowski delivered a two-run double to right-center to increase the BC lead to 3-0.
Clarion made things interesting in the top of the fifth inning against Fennell and the Bulldogs as with two outs and a pair of runners on base, Palyas delivered a triple into right field to cut the deficit to 3-2. Fennell escaped any further damage by fanning Fugh to strand Palyas at third.
Barton turned a double-play after the Golden Eagles started the sixth inning with an infield single and would see Fennell tally his 13th strikeout to end the inning. Fennell would once again have to work around a two-out single in the top of the seventh inning by got Max Mari swinging to end the game and record hit 16th strikeout in the process.
Fennell (4-1) fanned 16 of the 27 batters that he faced in the game and issued just one walk on 114 pitches. Jeremy Frazier (0-2) was handed the loss for the Golden Eagles despite allowing just the three runs on six hits through six innings of work. Frazier needed all the help that he could get from his defense as all 24 Barton batters put the ball into play in the game.
Game two started a little bit differently for Clarion as the Golden Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning against Barton junior right-hander Dylan Ward. Wolbert helped to give his team the lead as he delivered a single while advancing to second on a throwing error by the Bulldogs. The error allowed Fugh to score on the play for Clarion.
Barton answered in the bottom of the frame with a run as Maslowski reached base on a fielding error by the third baseman. The miscue allowed Little to score on the play and extend the inning for BC. A pair of run-scoring hits for the Golden Eagles in the top of the third inning would give them a 3-1 lead against Ward and the Bulldogs.
The Golden Eagles plated another run in the top of the fifth inning that would be charged to Ward after exiting the game with two outs. With sophomore Landry Moore on the mound for the Bulldogs, Clarion upped its lead to 4-1 as Jake Turpin delivered a run-scoring single to left field.
The momentum would shift in the bottom of the seventh inning as freshman Colby Warren crushed his third home run of the season to trim the Clarion lead to 4-2. Golden Eagles starter Nate Torbich would leave the game with one out and a 4-3 lead before Barton rallied against the Clarion bullpen. Pate gave the Bulldogs a 5-4 lead with a double down the left field line and advanced to third with some alert baserunning. Maslowski followed with a double of his own to plate Pate and make it a 6-4 game.
Leading 8-4 and with seven runs already home in the inning, redshirt sophomore Lane Olive worked a bases-loaded walk to record his lone RBI of the game and make it 9-4 BC. The Barton bullpen would lock things down the rest of the way as Moore and freshman Clay Walters tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth inning for the Bulldogs. Moore (2-2) recorded the win for Barton after fanning four batters and yielding only one hit through three innings of relief. Ward took a no-decision for BC after allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits to go along with seven strikeouts.
Barton travels to Florence, S.C. for one game with Francis Marion University at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The Bulldogs then host Kutztown University at Nixon Field on Wednesday beginning at 2 p.m.