The Boonville Pirates baseball team reaped the rewards for a stellar season not just in the North Central Missouri Conference but also for winning the Class 4 District 8 Tournament Wednesday night in Fulton.
As for the all-conference selections, the Pirates had three players selected to the NCMC team in seniors Jalen Poindexter and Zach Nixon and sophomore Austin Hulbert. All three players were selected as positioned players.
Meanwhile, in the Class 4 District 8 All-District Team, the Pirates had a total of seven players selected to the team. While beating the Kirksville Tigers 7-0 in the title game, Boonville had a total of two pitchers and five positioned players selected to the team.
They were: (Pitchers) Caleb Hein and Chase Snapp; (Positioned players) Jalen Poindexter, Zach Nixon, Austin Hulbert, Keaton Barnes and Ethan Sander.
In the final-team standings in the NCMC, Kirksville captured the championship at 11-1. Boonville finished second at 8-4, followed by Marshall at 7-4, Mexico at 7-5, Hannibal at 4-6, Fulton at 1-9 and Moberly at 1-10.
Boonville Pirates baseball coach Tim Edwards said he is proud of all of the guys that made the all-conference and all-district teams. "They have each improved and progressed throughout the year and as a result we are playing very good baseball at this time," Edwards said.
As for the two-way players who made both all-conference and all-district, nobody had a better season for the Pirates than senior Jalen Poindexter. While playing in all 23 games this season for Boonville, mainly at the catcher position, Poindexter managed to lead the team with a .397 average with 29 hits in 73 at-bats with 16 singles, 11 doubles, two home runs and a leading 28 RBIs.
Edwards said Poindexter has had an outstanding high school career, being a three-year starter, and played really well this year. "He has done an outstanding job behind the plate and has really started to hit the ball very well as of late," Edwards said.
As for Nixon, he too, has started to hit the ball well as late. While starting in every game at second base this season for Boonville, Nixon is only four percentage points behind Poindexter in hitting with a .393 clip with 24 hits in 61 at-bats with 17 singles, six doubles, one home run and 18 RBIs.
Edwards said Nixon has been the rock for the team at second base for the third year in a row. "He has worked very hard at becoming a very good player and has really hit the ball well for us this season as our four hole hitter," Edwards said.
While Poindexter and Nixon conclude their seasons this season, Hulbert still has two years remaining. And like both Poindexter and Nixon, Hulbert has been a constant at shortstop while hitting .321 with 25 hits in 78 at-bats with 18 singles, six doubles, one home run and 9 RBIs. He also leads the team with 23 runs scored.
Edwards said Hulbert is a slick fielder who is very consistent and makes a great double play tandem with Zach Nixon. "He has also done a great job for us at the plate in the two hole," Edwards said.
As for the rest of the players selected to the all-district team, senior Caleb Hein lived up to his expectations as the No. 1 pitcher for the Pirates. After Wednesday night's win over Kirksville, Hein currently stands at 4-2 overall with an ERA of 2.41. While pitching a total of 40 2/3 innings, which is tops on the team, Hein has given up just 22 runs, 14 earned, on 41 hits and 17 walks while striking out 33 batters.
Edwards said Hein really came on last year as a pitcher and picked up right where he left off this year. "He pitched a couple of shutouts at Mexico and then against Kirksville in the district championship game," Edwards said. "He has done a great job for us."
As for junior Chase Snapp, Edwards said he is a "craft" lefty who has great command and throws his off-speed stuff very well.
Snapp is also tied for the most wins on the team along with Hein at 4-2 overall with an ERA of 2.56. In 38 1/3 innings, Snapp has given up 22 runs, 14 earned, on 42 hits and 14 walks while striking out 28 batters. He also has one save.
"Chase has come a long way in a few short years," Edwards said. "He had some great games for us on the mound holding Kirksville to one run in their only conference loss at their place," Edwards said, "and he pitched a gem against Mexico in the district semifinal."
Sophomore Ethan Sander has done a little bit of everything this season for the Pirates. While playing right field for Boonville, Sander has also pitched a total of 10 innings on the mound with a record of 1-1 and an ERA of 3.50. As for his hitting, Sander is currently batting .309 with 17 hits in 55 at-bats with 12 singles, four doubles, one triple and 14 RBIs.
Edwards said Sander has done a great job on the mound and in the outfield for the Pirates. "He can really go get a fly ball and has an outstanding arm and is very solid at the plate as well," Edwards said. "On the mound he has come in and earned two saves on the season in dominating fashion against Harrisonville and Mexico."
As for junior Keaton Barnes, he has split time between first base and left field. While hitting .328 for the season, Barnes also has 21 hits in 64 at-bats with 12 singles, seven doubles, two triples and 19 RBIs.
Edwards said Barnes is a dedicated baseball player who has worked very hard to become a very good hitter. "He has had many big hits for us this season and has really improved his average as the season has progressed," Edwards said. "He has also worked hard to become our everyday left fielder where he is doing a great job."