Error-free defense and pitching lead the way for Boonville

For one of the few times this season, the Boonville Pirates baseball team found the right combination while prevailing over the Fulton Hornets 5-1 in NCMC action Tuesday night in Fulton.
One night after knocking off Class 5 Columbia Rock Bridge 15-13, the Pirates displayed both error-free defense and great pitching behind Dallas Franklin to win their fifth game of the season at 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the NCMC.
“Error-free defense behind the pitching of Dallas Franklin was the right combination for a win tonight,” stated head coach Tim Edwards. “Just like our first game against Fulton, Dalton Horstmeier had our number early as we could only manage one hit through the first-five innings. We finally broke through in the sixth when Alec Viertel came up with a huge two-out, bases-loaded single to score the first-two runs of the game for us. I am proud of our guys tonight because we stayed simple in our approach at the plate and put the ball in play late in the ballgame to get the win. Dallas (Franklin) was outstanding on the mound scattering five hits and striking out five.”
Although the Pirates went on to out-hit Fulton 6-5, the Hornets actually got the early jump on Boonville by pushing across one run in the bottom-half of the first on one hit and one walk.
The Pirates, meanwhile, struggled offensively while failing to collect a hit through the first-three innings. However, in the top-half of the fourth, Boonville broke out of its slump with a two-out single by senior Zach Nixon.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, Horstmeier appeared to be on his game as well while getting Keaton Barnes on a flyout to end the inning.
Boonville also wasted a lead-off single in the fifth by sophomore Ethan Sander, who made it all the way to third after an error and a fielder’s choice on the ground ball by Jordan Copeland.
As for the pitching by junior Dallas Franklin, the right-handed hurler looked to be in mid-season form by allowing just one run on five hits and three walks while striking out five batters. Horstmeier, meanwhile, pitched the first-six innings for Fulton and surrendered five runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks while striking out nine.
All three of Horstmeier’s walks, however, came in the sixth  with two outs. In all, Boonville sent eight batters to the plate in the inning with sophomore Alec Viertel clubbing a two-out single to center to score both Nixon and Barnes to make it 2-1.
The Pirates never trailed after that while adding three more runs in the top-half of the seventh on a RBI-double to left by Jalen Poindexter and a two-RBI single to center by Nixon.
Nixon also went 2-for-2 in the game for Boonville with two singles and two RBIs. Jalen Poindexter was 1-for-3 with a RBI-double while Alec Viertel added a single and two RBIs and Jordan Copeland and Ethan Sander each with one single.
For Fulton, Blake Thompson and Joe Schlemeier each had two hits.
Boonville’s JV also won against Fulton 2-1.
The Pirates, improving to 3-3 overall and 3-2 in the NCMC, opened the game with two runs in the top-half of the first. As for Fulton, they scored their only run in the fourth inning.
Boonville JV coach George Monk said the JV team did just enough offensively to win the game. “It is good that we did that much because Conner Pond did a nice job from the mound and deserved a win,” Monk said. “Defensively, we need to work on a few things. I would like to see our players be more aggressive. We also need to keep working on our assignments.”
Conner Pond went all five innings for Boonville and gave up one unearned run on three hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Austin Henderson had the only extra base hit in the ballgame for Boonville, being a double, while Quincy Banuet singled.
The Boonville Pirates baseball team will host the Hannibal Pirates in NCMC action on Thursday at Twillman field in Harley park starting at 5 p.m