WILSON, NC — Barton College rebounded from an 0-4 start to its 2008 season Saturday by beating visiting nationally 30th-ranked Kutztown University (PA) twice at Nixon Field.
The Bulldogs of head coach Todd Wilkinson prevailed 10-7 and 11-8. The NCAA D-II teams will play another doubleheader beginning at noon on Sunday at Nixon Field. Kutztown was opening its season.
Barton's bats staked the Bulldogs to big leads in both games, then bullpen pitchers got the job done. Barton outhit the Bears 30-17 in the two games. Kutztown committed seven errors and Barton made eight, including several dropped fly balls that kept the score close.
Kutztown led 3-1 after 1 1/2 innings of game one. However, Barton bounced back with four runs apiece in the second and third innings. Ryan McCleney, Michael Parker and Allen Corbett powered Barton with three hits apiece. McCleney, Barrett Martin and Brandon Sneed drove in two runs apiece. McCleney and Parker rapped RBI doubles for the Bulldogs, who once again manufactured a lot of runs with no home runs.
Kutztown got three hits from Mike Kacelowicz and two apiece from Chad Lightcap and Jeff Kistle. Kacelowicz doubled twice and homered for 3RBI. Lightcap, Kistle and Jared Frey also doubled and Lightcap homered.
Junior right-hander Brandon Brinson was the winning pitcher for Barton. He tossed 3.1 innings, allowed six hits and five runs, walked three and struck out one. Freshman lefty Kramer Sneed pitched 1.2 innings, allowing two runs on two hits, then Nick Nigito and John Anderson fired one inning apiece. Anderson earned the save in both tilts.
For the Bears, senior right-hander Philip Rummel was tagged with the loss. He went three innings, allowing nine runs on nine hits. Jordan Smith went two innings of relief and Anthony Fegeley finished.
In the second game, each team plated a run in the first inning, then Barton erupted for five runs on five hits in the second inning. Corbett started the uprising with a single and David Bunn and Will Johnson followed with bunt singles for one run. McCleney, who is off to a torrid start this season, rapped a ground-rule double to right. After a hit batsman, a fielder's choice and an error, freshman shortstop Aaron Watkins singled in the final run.
Barton was ahead 10-4 when Kutztown made it interesting with a four-run sixth inning. Two walks and a balk were followed by a three-run homer by Lightcap, who was 4-for-9 with 5RBI on the afternoon. Catcher Matt Kulbacki added a solo homer.
Watkins singled in a run in the bottom of the sixth for an 11-8 edge, then Kutztown made it dramatic in the end. Andy May was hit by reliever Derek Thomas. Another man reached on an error, then Brett Wigner singled to load the bases with one out. Wilkinson brought in Anderson, who got Kacelowicz to fly out, then struck out the hot-hitting Lightcap, who already had three homers for the afternoon, with an inside curveball to the end the game.
McCleney batted 4-for-4 with three doubles and 2RBI while Watkins and leadoff hitter Travis Holloman each rapped three hits and drove in two. Zach Boyette had a solo homer for the Bulldogs. Frey and Lightcap notched two hits each for the Bears.
Senior right-hander Chris Hill (1-1) was the winner for Barton. He scattered four hits and allowed four runs (just one earned) in five complete innings. He struck out six and walked two. Starting lefty Darin Gorski was the losing pitcher. He lasted four innings, but allowed 11 hits and nine runs (five earned). He walked none and fanned five.