WILSON, N.C. – The Barton baseball team (20-12, 8-5) rallied from a five-run deficit in the ninth inning to stun King (10-13, 5-6), 13-10, in 10 innings in a Conference Carolinas series opener Friday afternoon at Nixon Field.
Barton senior third baseman Gatlin Pate (Grays Creek, N.C.) hit a walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Bulldogs were able to overcome a 10-5 deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning by plating five to push the game to extra frames before the improbable victory.
King hit three home runs – courtesy of Hunter Barbour (Union Hall, Va.), Kevin Barbato (Miami, Fla.) and Deric Graham (Bristol, Tenn.) – despite the loss.
Barton junior catcher Brayden Olson (Spokane, Wash.) also hit a two-run home run and finished with four hits and three runs batted in and the Bulldogs held a decisive edge in hits – 20-7 – on their way to their third straight league win. Senior second baseman and catcher Hunter Pearre (Poolesville, Md.) added four hits in the victory as well for the Bulldogs.
Barton sophomore Colby Warren (Roanoke Rapids, N.C.) pitched a scoreless tenth inning and improved to 2-4 on the year while King's Erik Calderon, Jr. (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) fell to 1-3 after taking the loss.
The two teams will wrap up the league weekend series with a doubleheader at Nixon Field on Saturday beginning at Noon.