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A trying 2018 season for the Barton College baseball team did not come and go without at least one significant honor.
After tying the Barton single-season record for a freshman with 12 home runs, third baseman Colby Warren was tabbed the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas Freshman of Year during the league’s annual awards banquet in Burlington.
Warren, a product of Roanoke Rapids High, was a constant source of power for first-year head coach Jim Chester. He led Barton with 31 runs batted in and was just one of two Bulldogs to appear in all 48 contests. The owner of a .313 batting average, Warren increased the figure to .388 versus Conference Carolinas opposition and had three homers combined against a pair of nationally-ranked opponents in Belmont Abbey and North Greenville.
Barton, which finished the season with a 12-36 record and missed the conference tournament, was last home to a freshman player of the year in 2002, when Trevor Lawhorn was honored by the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference, the forerunner to Conference Carolinas.
In addition, junior outfielder Troy Maslowski earned second-team all-conference recognition, his second straight year of landing all-league honors. Maslowski appeared in 40 contests for Barton, hitting 17 doubles to lead the squad. In addition to time on the mound for Barton, Maslowski authored a .352 batting average to lead the Bulldogs while driving in 29 runs.
As a utility player, Barton sophomore Sierra Hearp picked up all-conference recognition for the second time in as many seasons after being named to the Conference Carolinas Second Team.
Hearp, who played shortstop, third base and pitched as well as spending time in the designated player spot, slammed 11 doubles, four home runs and posted a .454 on-base percentage. Through 43 contests, Hearp hit .317 with 23 runs batted in, while coaxing out 22 walks, a team high.
A first-team selection in 2017, Hearp is the first Barton softball player to earn all-conference acclaim in back-to-back years since All-American Jessica McFadden pulled off the feat in four straight years from 2008-11.
Barton concluded its season with a 23-29 record after losing two games to Limestone and Belmont Abbey in the Conference Carolinas tournament Friday.