TIGERVILLE, S.C. – The Barton baseball team (31-18) rallied with a three-run eighth inning to beat Belmont Abbey (25-23), 8-7, in the opening round of the 2019 Conference Carolinas Championship Thursday at Ashmore Park.
Trailing by a 7-6 score, the second-seeded Bulldogs plated the two go-ahead scores – including the game-winning run from junior first baseman Chase Riker (Hampstead, N.C.) – on a Crusader error in the eighth inning with two outs.
Riker was one of three Barton players to hit home runs in the contest – junior shortstop JoJo Allen (Clarksville, Tenn.) and senior outfielder Troy Maslowski (Cary, N.C.) were the others – and the Bulldogs pushed their winning streak to seven games. Riker finished with three hits and is batting .486 (18-of-37) on the year.
Sophomore Colby Warren (Roanoke Rapids, N.C.) improved to 5-3 after retiring the final eight batters while not allowing a run with three strikeouts for the Bulldogs, who were making their first appearance in the league championship since 2016.
For Belmont Abbey, Mason Dodd (Augusta, Ga.) and Zach Aehlert (Itasca, Ill.) both hit home runs while Jason White (Concord, N.C.) fell to 2-2 after taking the loss.
Barton will take on third-seeded Mount Olive (29-13) in the winner's bracket round of the tournament on Friday at 7:00 p.m. The Trojans downed fourth-seeded Erskine (27-22), 11-5, in their opening round contest. Belmont Abbey, the fifth seed, faces seventh-seeded Emmanuel (Ga.) on Friday at 11:00 a.m.