The Boonville 15-year-old All-Stars can claim that they were the second best team after losing to Hi-Tower, Minnesota 16-7 in the championship game of the Midwest Plains Regional Tournament Tuesday in Liberal, Kansas.
Of course the Boonville 15 All-Stars first had to beat Bismarck, North Dakota in a loser's bracket game on Monday, which turned into a slugfest with the 15 All-Stars winning 17-10.
But even then Boonville found itself on the outside looking in while trailing 1-0 after the first inning. Meanwhile, after a scoreless second inning, the 15 All-Stars came back and exploded for seven runs in the bottom-half of the third to go up 7-1.
Needless to say the game was far from being over at that point as Bismarck rallied back with nine runs in the top-half of the fifth to retake the lead at 10-7.
Fortunately for Boonville, they had plenty of time to overcome the three-run deficit while adding one run in the fifth to cut the lead to two at 10-8. Meanwhile, in the bottom-half of the sixth, the 15 All-Stars all but sealed the victory by exploding for nine runs to win by seven.
Ethan Sander picked up the win in relief for Boonville while Cyril Nagurski took the loss for Bismarck.
Kenan Johnson started the game for Boonville and pitched the first-four innings, giving up five runs on two hits and four walks. Jordan Copeland then came in and pitched 1/3 inning in relief and allowed four runs on three hits. Then, to finish the game, Sander pitched 2 2/3 innings and surrendered one run on one hit and one walk while striking out one.
For Bismarck, Nagurski pitched 3 2/3 innings in relief of starter Tate Barnhardt and issued five runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four.
Boonville also out-hit Bismarck 15-6, with Ethan Sander going 3-for-5 with a single, double, triple and six RBIs. Kenan Johnson also had a single, double, triple and two RBIs in the game while Josh Judd added a single, triple and two RBIs, Alec Viertel and Keaton Barnes each with a single, double and one RBI, Jordan Copeland and Quincy Banuet with one single and one RBI each and Austin Henderson with one RBI.
For Bismarck, Ashton Dale went 2-for-4 with two singles and one RBI.
As for the game against Hi-Tower, the Boonville 15 All-Stars again got off to a slow start by giving up five runs in the first.
However after rallying back with two runs in the top-half of the second, the 15 All-Stars surrendered two again in the third to trail by a score of 7-2.
Meanwhile, after a scoreless fourth inning of play, Boonville added four more runs in the fifth to make it a one-run ballgame at 7-6.
Unfortunately for Boonville, they never got any closer in the ballgame as Hi-Tower sent six runs across in the bottom-half of the fifth and three again in the sixth for the victory.
Jack Winegard was the winning pitcher in the game for Hi-Tower while Josh Judd took the loss for Boonville. Winegard started the game and pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on four hits and two walks. Winegard also struck out two batters.
For Boonville, Judd pitched 2 1/3 innings and surrendered five runs on five hits and two walks while striking out one. Ethan Sander then came in and pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief and issued two runs on two hits and four walks. Meanwhile, after Keaton Barnes pitched 1 1/3 innings and yielded two runs on two hits, Alec Viertel came in and pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on two hits and two walks. Then, to finish the game, Jordan Copeland pitched 1/3 inning and allowed three runs on two hits while striking out one batter.
Hi-Tower also had 13 hits in the ballgame against Boonville, with Robbie Rice going 3-for-4 with three doubles and three RBIs. Jackson Buelow also had two singles, one triple and three RBIs for Hi-Tower.
For Boonville, Keaton Barnes went 2-for-4 with a single, double and two RBIs. Ethan Sander was 2-for-3 with two singles while Josh Judd added a double and one RBI, Alec Viertel and Austin Henderson each with one single and Jordan Copeland, Quincy Banuet and Kenan Johnson with one RBI each.
Hi-Tower will advance to the Babe Ruth 13-15 World Series in Van Buren, Arkansas on August 18-25.