The Boonville Pirates baseball team got its first real taste of competition Saturday during a four-team Jamboree at Liberty park in Sedalia.
Although the Pirates finished the Jamboree at 1-2 overall, beating Oak Grove 1-0 and losing to Warsaw and Sedalia Smith-Cotton 3-1 and 1-0, respectively, the real season won’t actually begin until Tuesday, March 20th at Fulton starting at 5 p.m.
Boonville Pirates baseball coach Fred Smith said he thought the pitchers did a good job but was disappointed in the middle of the lineup.
“Pathetic is the word to describe it,” Smith said. “The middle of the lineup has to do something and today we got nothing out of them. However it was good to play some good competition. The intensity in the last inning against Smith-Cotton was state caliber intensity. Again, we have to step up and win it and they did. They answered the ball but we are standing around still waiting for somebody to be a leader. We just can’t find any.”
Smith also shared his thoughts in the loss against Warsaw. While playing mostly the JV team against the Wildcats, he said that game was disappointing from the stand point that there wasn’t any intensity or effort there.
“We just didn’t swing the bat worth a dang all day. We took way too many pitches, got a lot of walks, had bases loaded on two or three occasions and we stand there and take pitches so that’s not going to win games. Luckily, it’s early and we have a week to go to work and remedy some things.”
While scoring a total of two runs in three games, or nine innings, the Pirates also had just three hits on the day.
In the game against Oak Grove, Boonville scored one run on six walks but failed to scratch out a hit in three innings. The Pirates scored the only run of the game on a wild pitch in the bottom half of the third by Ethan Waibel.
As for the pitching, senior Jared Viertel looked to be in mid-season form with three strikeouts and only one walk in 2 2/3 innings.
Of course the hitting woes carried over into the Warsaw game. Although the Pirates did have one hit in the game on a one-out double to left in the second by Cale Fox, they also gave up three runs on three hits.
Boonville also wasted a big scoring opportunity in the first after loading the bases on a error, hit batter and walk. But with two outs already in the inning, Warsaw avoided further damage by getting a ground to end the inning.
Warsaw scored one in the bottom half of the first on a dropped third strike and a single and two again in the second on two singles and one walk.
As for the pitching, Kellen Barnes took the loss by giving up two runs in 1 1/3 innings. Reece Lang, meanwhile, pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief and gave up two bloop hits. Both pitchers also had just one walk in three innings.
In the final game against Smith-Cotton, junior Connor Barnes sat down all six batters in the first-two innings-four by strikeouts and two by groundouts.
But even then the Pirates struggled to get anything going offensively while managing just one walk in two innings.
However in the third, junior Carson Campbell doubled down the right field line to break the slump while Ethan Waibel received a two out walk. But just like so many times during the day, Boonville couldn’t move the runners over while ending the inning on a strikeout.
Meanwhile, in the bottom of the third, the Pirates looked to work its way out of a jam after walking two batters earlier in the inning. However after getting a fielder’s choice back to the pitcher and one from first to home, the Pirates just couldn’t get the final out after giving up a single between first and second for the winning run.
Barnes pitched the first-two inings and looked flawless on the mound. As for Ben Horst, he looked a little rusty while giving up one run on two walks in one inning.