Bulldogs hammered by King 17-8 in series finale

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Despite a pair of home runs from slugging senior catcher-designated hitter Andrew Webster and a combined 8-for-8 performance from Webster and senior shortstop Calvin Hawke, the Barton College baseball team was denied its first sweep of an NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas foe this season with a 17-8 loss to King (Tennessee) University on a wet Saturday afternoon in Fleming Stadium.

Webster, the 2016 league player of the year and the current Div. II national leader in homers, swatted his 14th and 15th homers along with two doubles in going 5 for 5, scored four runs and drove in three.

Hawke, all-conference last season, batted 3 for 3 with his sixth 2017 homer and drove in three runs. In Friday’s first game of a doubleheader, Hawke dazzled at 4 for 4 with five RBIs and his fifth homer.

Barton, which relieved itself of the distinction of being tied for last place with Friday’s twinbill sweep, did win its first 2017 conference series in four tries but faded to 3-9 in the league and to 18-11 overall.

The Tornado occupies the basement at 2-10 and stands 10-14 in all games.

To qualify for the conference tournament, the Bulldogs must finish sixth or higher and currently, with five league series remaining, need to hurdle three teams to secure a sixth-place finish.

Despite rapping 15 hits, including seven for extra base, Barton never had much of a shot in Saturday’s series finale. King, which ripped three homers and four doubles, shelled seven Barton pitchers for 19 hits and owned a 13-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning. The Tornado benefited from 10 walks and two hit batsmen.

Webster slammed his first homer, a solo shot, of the afternoon in the third inning. He connected for his second circuit shot in the seventh. Hawke belted a two-run homer in the fifth. Webster delivered an RBI double in the eighth and, in the inning, Hawke singled in a run.

But starting Barton pitcher Kerry Walker (5-3), a senior right-hander, lasted only 313 innings, allowing 11 hits and 10 runs (nine earned).

Shortstop Tyler Bailey, catcher Bubba Ruiz and third baseman Austin Dayton all homered for the Tornado. Two of the blasts were of the three-run variety.

First baseman Dylan Sligh, second baseman J.P. Castaneda and Dayton each drilled three hits. Ruiz and Dayton each drove in five runs and Bailey four.

King starter Brandon Leonard limited the Bulldogs to seven hits and three runs in six innings in earning his second win against three losses.

Barton welcomes Catawba of the South Atlantic Çonference on Tuesday before traveling to Tigerville, South Carolina to oppose Southern Wesleyan in a three-game league series Friday and Saturday.