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BASEBALL

Barton Sweeps DH from Falcons 5-4, 3-1 as Baseball Begins Conference Play

Box Score

MISENHEIMER, N.C. – In the opening weekend of Conference Carolinas baseball, Barton College came out on Sunday using timely hitting in game one and an outstanding pitching performance from Hunter Meekins (Manteo, NC) in game two as the Bulldogs swept a doubleheader from Pfeiffer University at Joe Ferebee Field. Barton picked up 5-4 and 3-1 victories improving both their overall and conference record to 2-0 on Sunday afternoon. Pfeiffer drops down to 2-5 overall, 0-2 in league play.

GAME ONE: Barton 5, Pfeiffer 4

A scoreless ball game through the first two and a half innings changed in the home half of the third as Pfeiffer struck first for a 2-0 lead. After an infield single to third and swiping of second by Carlos Badillo (Gurabo, PR), senior Josh Strickland (Liberty, NC) came up with a two-out blast to left putting the Falcons up a pair.

Barton responded in their next at-bat tying the game at two through four. After Ryan Daughtry (Princeton, NC) drew a lead-off walk and moved to third on Aaron Watkins’ (Newport News, VA) double to center, both Bulldogs would come around on a Chris Rawlings (Charlotte, NC) single to center quickly knotting the contest up at two.

In the fifth, the visitors would put a three-spot on the board jumping out to a 5-2 lead halfway through game one. Lead-off man Ryan McCleney (Chadbourn, NC) started the frame with a solo shot to left before a J.D. McCarty (Colonial Heights, VA) double to right would score Watkins and Sam Pepper (Tabernacle, NJ).

Trailing by three at the stretch, Pfeiffer came back with a pair of runs to make things interesting in the final two innings. The two-out rally began with Badillo and Zack Pou’s (Stanley, NC) base hits to left. After Strickland loaded the bases with a hit-by-pitch, Preston Lyon (Gastonia, NC) slapped a base hit back up the middle scoring both Badillo and Pou. Barton’s reliever Bentley Massey (Wilson, NC) would then get out of the inning without any other damage done, setting the table for Wesley Francis (Blairs, VA) to earn the save.

Francis scored the save for starter Kramer Sneed (Winterville, NC) who went 6.2 innings for his first win of the season. Watkins and Pepper each had a pair of hits to lead the Bulldogs offensively. For the Falcons, Pou, Strickland and Badillo each had a couple of hits in the loss.

GAME TWO: Barton 3, Pfeiffer 1 (7 innings)

Barton jumped on the board in the top of the second scoring an unearned run as Pepper came into score on McCarty’s groundout to second by reaching on an error and later stealing third. Solo runs in the fourth and fifth put the visitors up three as McCleney and Rawlings each put up RBI singles as time began to run out for the Falcons.

Pfeiffer had all sorts of trouble trying to manage a productive inning against Meekins in the nightcap having a couple of chances, but Meekins would use one of his 12 strikeouts in the game to get out of any jam.

The Falcons did have their best chance in the sixth as Strickland drove in Badillo with another double to left to make it 3-1, with runners later in the inning at the corners and one out. Meekins then retired Will Davis (New London, NC) on strikes and caught the pop up off the bat of Aarin Sharpe (Wintervile, NC) to end the threat.

Meekins registered his final pair of strikeouts in a three up, three down bottom of the seventh earning the complete game win. Meekins went the distance allowing just the one run on five hits, with 12 strikeouts, tossing 94 pitches. Offensively, Francis and Wesley paced Barton with two hits apiece.

Both teams will attempt to square off on Monday, weather pending, in the finale of the opening weekend three-game set. First pitch is slated for 2:00 p.m. at Joe Ferebee Field.

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