by Doug Page
DUE WEST, S.C. – Barton College held a pair of leads and rallied late to knot the score 12-12 against Erskine College. The Flying Fleet would score a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure a 13-12 victory against the Bulldogs in Conference Carolinas baseball action.
Barton (9-20, 1-8) recorded seven doubles in the contest as junior Gatlin Pate accounted for two of those. The Bulldogs held an early 2-0 lead and would later take a 7-6 advantage after scoring five runs between the third and fifth inning. Erskine (19-7, 8-4) completed the three-game sweep of the Bulldogs after delivering timely hits in the later-half of the contest.
Freshman Colby Warren capped off a big series at the plate for the Bulldogs by going 3-for-6 with a double and two runs batted in. Freshman Mason Cooper tallied a pair of hits at the plate for BC while recording two RBI. Junior Troy Maslowski scored three runs on the day while notching a pair of hits and two RBI. Senior Rich Trifaro added one hit for Barton and recorded two RBI.
Chase Watts, Trevor Wood, and Isaiah Lewis paced the Flying Fleet in the contest as the trio combined to tally nine of Erskine's 18 hits in the contest. Watts went 3-for-5 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI, while Lewis went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Wood tallied four hits at the plate and was responsible for two RBI. Austin Mapes, Billy Ryan, and Kyle Heiss each recorded two hits for the Flying Fleet.
Barton opened the scoring in the top of the first inning with a pair of runs against Erskine starter Cam Remalia. Maslowski made it 1-0 with a double down the left field line to score Pate. Warren would then follow with a single to right field to plate Maslowski and give BC a 2-0 lead.
The Flying Fleet answered with a five-run bottom of the first against Maslowski and the Bulldogs. After knotting the score 2-2 on a double to right center, Watts gave Erskine a 3-2 edge with a single to right center. Lewis capped the scoring in the frame with a single up the middle that would plate Wood and make it 5-2.
Trailing 6-2, Cooper trimmed the deficit to 6-4 for Barton with a single up the middle in the top of the third inning. BC keep its momentum rolling through the middle innings as junior Ricks Dearing laced a double in the fourth inning to score freshman Tate Proctor and pull the Bulldogs within a run. A double by Pate would score Dearing and even the score 6-6.
Trifaro delivered the go-ahead hit for BC with a single to center field in the top of the fifth inning against the Erskine bullpen as the Bulldogs tallied their second lead of the contest. Maslowski came within an out of getting Barton out of the fifth inning with a lead as Heiss clubbed a two-run home run to left field to give Erskine the lead back at 8-7.
Barton had another answer for the Flying Fleet in the top of the sixth inning as Warren tied the score 8-8 with his single to center field. With the bases loaded, Trifaro would give Barton its third lead of the game as he worked a walk to score Maslowski. Erskine used a three-run sixth inning to take the lead back as Watts reached base on a fielder's choice to give the Flying Fleet a 10-9 lead.
Both sides would trade a run in the seventh inning as BC found itself trailing 12-10 entering the top of the eighth inning. With a pair of runners on base, freshman Hunter Little doubled down the right-field line to score Dearing and Proctor and even the score 12-12.
Erskine rallied against Barton reliever Chase Long in the bottom of the frame as Lewis singled to left field with a pair of runners on base to score Watts and make it 13-12. That lead would hold for the Flying Fleet despite Barton putting two runners on base in the top of the ninth inning.
Maslowski was handed with the no-decision for the Bulldogs after yielding eight runs on 12 hits through 4.2 innings of work. Long (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing a pair of runs to score off two hits. Barton fanned eight batters in the game while issuing only one walk. Grayson King (2-0) earned the win for Erskine despite allowing three runs in his two innings of relief. Trey Watts tallied his second save of the season after working a clean ninth inning. Flying Fleet pitchers issued nine walks in the contest while tallying 10 strikeouts.
Barton makes a trip to Pembroke, N.C. on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. meeting with the Braves of UNC Pembroke in a non-conference matchup.