Will begin district play Monday in Fulton
The Boonville Pirates baseball team had the perfect send off for the seniors last night while hosting the Sedalia Smith-Cotton Tigers in the regular-season finale.
With the district tournament looming next week in Fulton, the Pirates honored the seniors with a 12-run, 15-hit attack against the Tigers for a 12-2 victory.
Although everything went pretty much as planned for the Pirates, who improved to 13-8 overall, head coach Tim Edwards said it was good to get all the seniors in the starting lineup.
“I also thought we hit the ball well,” Edwards said. “We wanted to try to get a lot of different guys on the mound tonight. I had plans for Jordan Copeland to pitch the seventh inning but we didn’t get that far. Defensively, we were pretty solid. We had a couple of mistakes we have to eliminate but it’s tough this time of the year when you have so many different things going on. It’s tough to keep that momentum going but we feel like we have been playing pretty well down the stretch. We just want to keep the momentum going into the district tournament.”
So far so good.
In addition to holding Smith-Cotton to just three hits through six innings of play, the Pirates also had 11 players with at least one hit in the game and had runners on base in every inning.
Boonville also scored in four out of the six innings by pushing across one run in the first on a RBI-single to left by Alec Viertel in the bottom-half of the first. However the real damage was done in the third inning as Boonville exploded for six runs by sending nine batters to the plate. With six hits in the inning, sophomore Keaton Barnes and senior Kelsey Callaway provided the brunt of the damage with two-RBI triples, which accounted for four of the team’s six runs. Viertel also reached on an error to bring in a run, while junior Jacob Francis smashed a single up the middle for an RBI.
Of course if that wasn’t enough already, Boonville added four more runs in the fourth on a two-RBI triple to center by Barnes, a bases-loaded walk for an RBI by Callaway and a sacrifice fly to center for a run by Francis to extend the lead to 11-0.
The Tigers, who did practically nothing for the first-four innings, finally got on the board in the top-half of the fifth by pushing across two runs on one walk, two hit batters and a throwing error.
However it was just too much Boonville on this night as the Pirates came back with one run in the sixth when sophomore Jordan Copeland hit a one-out single to left and later scored on the RBI-single up the middle by senior Zach Nixon to win by the mercy rule.
Caleb Hein picked up the win on the mound for Boonville while Taylor Schubert took the loss for Smith-Cotton.
In two innings, Hein struck out three batters and gave up no runs on two hits and one walk. Chase Snapp then came in and pitched two innings in relief and walked one while striking out one. Then, to finish the game, Ethan Sander pitched two innings and surrendered two runs on one hit and one walk.
As for Schubert, the right-handed hurler gave up nine runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out five batters in three innings.
As for the hitting, Keaton Barnes went 2-for-3 with a double, triple and four RBIs.
Kelsey Callaway was 2-for-3 with a single, triple and three RBIs while Zach Nixon added two singles and one RBI, Jalen Poindexter also with two singles, Jacob Francis with a RBI-single and Austin Hulbert, Jordan Copeland, John Reese, Alec Viertel, Dallas Franklin and Chase Snapp each with one single.
For Smith-Cotton, Cody Kozak went 2-for-3 with two singles.
Edwards said he likes where the team is at going into districts.
“I have liked where we have been this whole season,” Edward said. “After coming off the tournament at Smith-Cotton I thought we started to play a lot better but it’s been tough with the weather to get in any kind of rhythm. I thought we had good rhythm last week. This week with only one game it’s tough to keep that rhythm but I like the way we are playing. I like our attitude and work ethic and I think we are going into the district tournament with some confidence. The Reed kid from Mexico we will see him on Monday and he is going to be a load. We have to hit against him and he beat us here 4-2 so we have to be prepared for that.”
In the JV game, Sedalia Smith-Cotton defeated Boonville by a score of 7-6.
The Pirates JV, who dropped to 9-8 on the season, trailed Smith-Cotton 7-4 after four before rallying with two runs in the bottom-half of the fifth.
Conner Pond took the loss on the mound for Boonville by giving up seven runs on seven hits and five walks while striking out three batters in 3 1/3 innings. Bryce Fuemmeler then came in and pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief and walked one batter.
Dalton Bealmer had the only extra base hit in the ballgame for Boonville with a home run while Quincy Banuet and Evan Franklin each singled.
Boonville JV coach George Monk said this has been a good season. “The game against a larger school like Sedalia was a good one to finish with,” Monk said. “We played well and played for each other. Our pitching struggled early but the team came together and made this an exciting game.”