For the first game of the 2013 season, the Boonville Pirates baseball team sure made it interesting for the fans and coaches alike Tuesday night while hosting the Fulton Hornets in the conference opener at Twillman Field in Harley park.
While playing their first game of the season compared to Fulton’s second, the Pirates picked the perfect time for a rally by sending three runs across in the bottom-half of the seventh for a 4-3 victory.
After the game, Boonville Pirates baseball coach Tim Edwards said it was good to get the win but defensively there were too many letdowns defensively.
“Actually all three of their runs involved an error of some sort,” stated Edwards. “We had a two-out error and the guy ends up scoring so defensively we have to clean those things up. Pitching-wise I thought all of our guys pitched well. I thought Caleb (Hein) pitched well and Alec (Viertel) and Chase (Snapp) did a nice job. The Horstmeier kid did a good job throwing and gave us all we could handle until he wore down. He wore down late and we were able to scratch out a couple of runs.”
Make that three to be exact. Trailing 3-1 going into the bottom-half of the seventh, the Pirates started the inning off with three straight hits with a bloop double to left by Austin Hulbert, a single and an error to right by Ethan Sander and an infield single to third by Jordan Copeland.
Of course it got worse before it got better for the Hornets, who now saw its lead cut to 3-2. However, after Horstmeier hit Dallas Franklin to load the bases, junior Jacob Francis laced a hard single to short which ended up scoring two more runs after the throwing error to first for the game winner.
In all, Boonville scored three runs in the inning on three hits, one error and one hit batter. But even then Fulton still managed to out-hit the Pirates 8-4 in the game.
Edwards said he felt like the Pirates stole one against Fulton.
“The hit by Ethan was obviously a big hit there,” Edwards said, “and then the seeing-eye double by Hulbert was big as well. Jordan Copeland also did a great job after Ethan got that hit to put the ball in play. He hits a ground ball to third and was able to make it to first and then Dallas Franklin gets hit by a pitch and that’s big, too. Jacob Francis then put it in play and good things happened. That’s what we have to do is keep scratching, working and get a win.”
The Pirates, 1-0 on the season, couldn’t seem to buy a hit for the first-six innings. While the Hornets scored one run in each of the fourth and fifth innings of play to go up 2-0, Boonville’s only hit through six innings came in the second inning when Hulbert hit a two-out single up the middle.
The Pirates also had a golden opportunity in the bottom-half of the fifth with just one out and two runners on. However, after scoring a run on a wild pitch to make it 2-1, Boonville got caught trying to be a little too aggressive when Kelsey Callaway was gunned down at third for the second out. Horstmeier then got Francis on a ground out to first to end the inning.
The Pirates may have also caught a break in the sixth. Despite giving up one run, Boonville escaped without further damage with two on and two outs when junior pitcher Chase Snapp got junior Paul Books on a strikeout to end the inning.
As it turned out that inning  paved the way for the come from behind victory in the seventh to notch Boonville’s first win of the 2013 season.
Three was also the magic number for the Pirates in terms of pitching. While Snapp picked up the win on the mound for Boonville, Edwards would actually start the game with senior Caleb Hein, who pitched the first-four innings. In those four innings, Hein gave up one run on four hits and three walks while striking out two. Alec Viertel then came in and pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits. Then, to finish the game, Snapp pitched 1 1/3 innings with four strikeouts.
As for the hitting, Austin Hulbert went 2-for-3 with a double and one run scored. Ethan Sander was 1-for-3 with a double, one RBI and one run scored while Jacob Francis added a single and one RBI, Jordan Copeland with one single and one run scored and Jay Barnhart with one run scored.
For Fulton, Horstmeier went 3-for-3 with two singles, one double and one run scored. Horstmeier also took the loss by giving up four runs, three earned, on five hits. He also struck out five batters.
Boonville also won the JV game by scoring all four runs in the first inning for a 4-0 victory.
Freshman Bryce Fuemmeler picked up the win on the mound for Boonville in two innings pitched with one strikeout.  Dallas Franklin then came in and pitched two innings in relief and walked three while striking out two. Then, to finish the game, Josh Judd pitched one inning and surrendered one walk while striking out one batter.
Jordan Copeland, Josh Judd and Dalton Bealmer doubled in the game for Boonville while Bryce Fuemmeler singled.  Fuemmeler and Judd also drove in one run each.
Boonville JV coach George Monk said this was a nice start to the season. “We were able to get enough offensive production early so that we could remain comfortable which paid off in the latter innings,” Monk said. “Our pitching was good; giving up no hits but I would like to see a better finish. We gave up too many walks in the late innings.”