by Cory Guinn
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton baseball team dropped a pair of games on Saturday in a Conference Carolinas doubleheader against No. 28 North Greenville University at Ashmore Field.
Barton (28-21, 13-14) earned the No.4 overall seed in the upcoming Conference Carolinas Tournament, while the Crusaders (37-13, 20-7) will the tournament's No. 2 overall seed.
Game One: No. 28 North Greenville 6, Barton 5 (Seven inn.)
The first game of the afternoon saw both teams score early with NGU getting tow runs in the first followed by Barton scoring three runs in the second. BC's three-run second inning was highlighted by a two-run blast from senior Shawn Montren, his fourth long ball of the season.
Barton tacked on another run in the third as senior Calvin Hawke drew a one-out walk and subsequently swiped second and third before stealing home and scoring to give BC a 4-2 lead.
However, the Crusaders scored once in the fourth and again in the fifth to tie the score at 4-all before taking a 5-4 lead in the sixth with another run.
Senior Andrew Webster hit his 21st home run of the season, a solo shot to left field, in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 5-5. North Greenville loaded the bases with one-out in the bottom half the seventh, ending the game with a sacrifice fly to center and scoring the game-winning run from third.
Junior Trent Fennell started on the mound for Barton and allowed four runs one eight hits with four walks and four strikeouts over five innings of work. Left-hander Andrew Davis (3-6) suffered the loss after giving up 2 runs on three hits with two walks over the final 1.2 innings of the game.
Webster was 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run and an RBI, while Montren was 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI. Hawke finished 1-for-2 with two walks and three stolen bases.
Game Two: No. 28 North Greenville 6, Barton 0
Senior Kerry Walker (9-4) was in control for much of the second game, but a six-run third inning from North Greenville proved to be the deciding factor.
The Crusaders had six of their nine total hits in the third inning, including a two-run home run and a three-run home run, as the offense went cold for the final six inning of play. However, the Barton offense left the bases loaded in the sixth as it was looking for a rally.
Barton's rally was stopped in the eighth as a runner was thrown out at home trying to advance from second on a single, and runners were left stranded at second and third in the top of the ninth to end the game.
Walker earned his fourth complete game effort of the season, allowing six runs on nine hits with four walks and five strikeouts.
Seven different Bulldogs had a hit in the contest, led by freshman Matt Daughtry's 2-for-4 effort at the plate.
The Conference Carolinas Tournament begins on Thursday, April 27 as Barton takes on the No. 3 seed Belmont Abbey College in an 11 a.m. contest in Burlington, N.C.