HARTSVILLE, S.C. – With a 5-3 win over Coker College on Sunday afternoon the Barton Bulldogs completed the three game sweep of the Cobras in Conference Carolinas baseball. Barton got their third solid pitching performance of the weekend, with starter James Holmes going eight strong innings to secure the win for Barton. Coker drops below .500 for the first time this season with the loss, they are now 17-18 overall and 8-13 in conference play, while Barton is 18-17 overall and 9-9 in the conference.
It was pitcher’s duel for most of the game with both starters giving their teams more than a fair chance to win. Barton got on the board first with a run in the second inning, but Coker answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning to make it 1-1. Coker’s Jonathan Gainey (Hartsville, S.C.) and Holmes then put up goose eggs for two innings to keep things even at one apiece.
Barton was able to finally get a couple of runs across in the fifth, thanks to a Cobra error and an RBI single from Sam Pepper. The Bulldogs then used two wind aided hits to score two more runs in the sixth to take the 5-1 lead.
The Cobras made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth, when Nick Fuoco (Palm Bay, Fla.) sent a towering two-run homer over the left field fence to make it 5-3 with just one out. That was when Barton called on Pepper to come in a close the game out. A ground out and a strikeout later, the Bulldogs took home the win and the series sweep.
Holmes (3-1) went eight and third innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with a pair of strikeouts, while Pepper (1) earned his first save of the season in just two-thirds of an innings of work with a strikeout.
Gainey (1-2) was the barer of loss, going eight innings allowing five runs, while scattering 11 hits and striking out two.
Fuoco finished the day 2-for-4 with a home run, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored for the Cobras, while Brinley Griffin (Port St. John, Fla.) was 2-for-4 with a double and Matt Ammons (Chester, S.C.) drove in a run.
For Barton, Kevin Carty had a pair of hits with two RBIs and a run scored, while Wesley Francis and Chris Rawlings each had three hits with a run scored, with Francis also picking up an RBI.
Coker returns to the diamond on Tuesday, when they travel to Orangeburg, S.C. to take on Claflin University in a non-conference game starting at 6:00 p.m.