After a week in which they finished 2-4, the Boonville Pirates baseball team opened up another week in exciting fashion on the road last night by beating the Class 5 Columbia Rock Bridge Bruins 15-13.
With both teams combining for 29 runs, the Pirates also just beat the team that finished 4-0 in the Smith-Cotton/Warrensburg Tournament last week by beating the defending state champion and No. 1 ranked Rockwood Summit.
While the win improved Boonville’s record to 4-4 overall, head coach Tim Edwards said this was a slugfest that they never gave up in and came away with a very good win for the first time against Rock Bridge since starting to play them in 2009.
“Without a doubt this is a very good win that should give our players confidence moving forward,” Edwards said. “Caleb Hein pitched well but unfortunately we had some errors that cost us some runs early in the game. Josh Judd came in and put out the fire in the fifth inning to pick up his first ever varsity win. Dallas Franklin then pitched the sixth and seventh innings and closed the door to pick up the save. I am very excited about how we hit the ball all through the lineup.”
Although the Pirates wound up winning by two, it was Rock Bridge with the early lead after pushing across three runs in the bottom-half of the first on two hits and one walk to go up 3-0.
But on this night a 3-0 lead was hardly safe as Boonville rallied back with a four spot in the top-half of the second on four hits and one walk. Sophomores Ethan Sander and Jordan Copeland each had big hits in the inning for the Pirates with RBI singles.
This is how the game went the entire night, with Rock Bridge taking its turn in the bottom-half of the second with four runs on four hits and two errors to go up 7-4.
Meanwhile, after a rare scoreless inning in the third, the Pirates broke the game wide open with seven runs in the top-half of the fourth on four hits and two walks. While sending a total of 10 batters to the plate in the inning, Boonville also got doubles each from Keaton Barnes and Zach Nixon.
Of course the Bruins didn’t go down without a fight. In the bottom-half of the fourth, Rock Bridge made a small dent in the score by pushing across two more runs to cut the lead to two at 11-9. Then, in the fifth, Boonville tacked on another run on the RBI-single by Copeland to make it 12-9 only to have Rock Bridge rally back again with three runs on four hits to tie the game at 12-all.
The Bruins never got any closer to taking the lead in the ballgame as Boonville stormed back with three runs in the sixth on four hits, which included a RBI-single by Josh Judd.
However, after failing to score in its half of the sixth, Rock Bridge made it interesting in the seventh inning by sending one run on two hits to closeout the game.
Josh Judd picked up the win on the mound for Boonville while Wyatt took the loss for Rock Bridge.
Caleb Hein started the game and pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up 12 runs, nine earned, 11 hits and two walks while striking out two. Judd then came in and pitched 1/3 inning in relief and allowed one hit. Then, to finish the game, Dallas Franklin pitched two innings and surrendered one run on two hits.
The Bruins, meanwhile, used a total of five pitchers. Wyatt, the third pitcher to see the mound for Rock Bridge, pitched only 2/3 inning and gave up three runs on four hits while striking out one.
Zach Nixon and Keaton Barnes each had three hits in the game for Boonville. Nixon went 3-for-5 with a single, double and two RBIs, while Barnes was 3-for-5 with a single, double and one RBI. Barnes also scored three times in the game while Nixon came across to score on two different occasions.
Jordan Copeland had two singles and three RBIs in the game while Jalen Poindexter added two singles and one RBI, Jacob Francis with a single and three RBIs, Ethan Sander with a single and two RBIs, Josh Judd with a single and one RBI, Austin Hulbert and Alec Viertel with one single each and Caleb Hein with one RBI.
For Rock Bridge, Brumfield and Priest each had three hits.
Of course the JV game was nowhere near as close as the varsity game as Rock Bridge exploded for four runs in the first and seven in the second en route to a 12-4 victory.
Boonville JV coach George Monk said his team played ok but need to tighten up the defense a little. “Players need to make routine plays and other players need to make sure that they are covering their assignments,” Monk said. “As the game progressed we did a better job of fulfilling those obligations. We did a nice job of hitting. It was nice that in the fourth we were able to string a bunch of hits together and send several players across the plate. Our hitting is improving with every game.”
Jake Esser took the loss on the mound for Boonville’s JV, who dropped to 2-3 overall. Esser pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up 11 runs, seven earned, on six hits and four walks. Tavious Brazil then came in and pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed one run on one hit and two walks.
Collecting hits in the game for the Pirates were Austin Henderson, Dalton Bealmer, Tavious Brazil, Jady Reese and Hunter Spaedy.
The Boonville Pirates baseball team will travel to Fulton for a conference game tonight starting at 5 p.m. Then, on Thursday, April 11, Boonville will host the Hannibal Pirates starting at 5.