WILSON, N.C. – The Barton baseball team (30-18, 17-9) secured sole possession of second place in the Conference Carolinas Regular Season standings with a doubleheader sweep of Southern Wesleyan (17-28, 7-18), 6-4 and 6-1, Saturday afternoon at Nixon Field. The red-hot Bulldogs also increased their winning streak to six games.
Game One – Barton 6, Southern Wesleyan 4 (seven innings)
Barton senior first baseman Chase Riker (Hampstead, N.C.) finished with three hits and three runs batted in including a solo home run and the Bulldogs were able to withstand four round-trippers by the Warriors to earn the victory.
Barton junior shortstop JoJo Allen (Clarksville, Tenn.) added a solo home run while junior Colby Shimmel (Windsor, Pa.) – the reigning national pitcher of the week – improved to 5-3 on the year after earning the win. Junior Nate McKenrick (Lake City, Pa.) registered the final two outs for the save for the Bulldogs.
For Southern Wesleyan, Tanner Glass (Bedford, Mich.), Quinton Bent (Mississauga, Ontario, CANADA), Devin Patrick (Centreville, Md.) and Conner Ewing (Athens, Ga.) all left the yard while Jackson Fischer (Westmont, Ill.) (1-4) was tagged with the loss.
Game Two – Barton 6, Southern Wesleyan 1
A trio of Barton pitchers – junior Jakob Ryan (Carrollton, Va.), sophomore Alex Hart (Raleigh, N.C.) and senior Dylan Ward (Laurinburg, N.C.) – limited Southern Wesleyan to just two hits in addition to 15 strikeouts in completing the sweep.
Hart (3-2) was credited with the win after allowing just one hit over five scoreless innings with nine strikeouts while Riker once again led the way at the plate with three hits, two runs batted in and a home run. Riker broke a one-all tie with the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the fourth while senior second baseman Hunter Pearre (Poolesville, Md.) added two runs batted in for the Bulldogs.
For the Warriors, D.J. Ludwick (Aiken, S.C.) hit a home run but Aaron Bennett (Helen, Ga.) fell to 3-3 after taking the loss.
Barton will be the No. 2 seed in the 2019 Conference Carolinas Championship and will next play in the opening round on Thursday, April 25, in Tigerville, S.C. North Greenville University is serving as the host institution.