The Boonville Pirates baseball team had the three most important things to win a ballgame Tuesday night in the season opener against the Fulton Hornets.
Despite less than ideal conditions for baseball, the Pirates let their pitching, hitting and defense carry them past Fulton at the high school ballfield by a score of 9-2.
Boonville Pirates baseball coach Fred Smith was also happy with the team’s performance, which featured 10 hits by seven different players.
“We got a conference win so all in all it was a good day,” Smith said. “We gave them the two runs they got and kind of set the table for them with an error, but I thought Jared Viertel came out and set the tone on the mound by throwing strikes. He did what he was supposed to do. I also thought we spread the ball around. Really a great game until it got to 8-0 and then we let off the pedal again. We started having bad at bats, where we were popping the ball up. We are playing in a huge ballpark so we need to use the turf to our advantage and hit the ball on the mound. Instead we tried to hit fly balls out of here and it’s not going to happen, especially on a damp cold day like this. We have to learn to make the adjustments and play a complete game.”
The Pirates were pretty darn close with just one error in the game compared to seven for Fulton.
However in the first inning, Boonville did all the damage with its bat by spraying balls all over the field with four runs on five hits. Nine batters also came to the plate in the inning, which featured a two-RBI double to left center on a one hopper to the fence by senior Kole Ficken and a RBI double to center by junior Dylan Watson. The rest of the hits came by the way of singles as Boonville led Fulton 4-0 right out of the gate.
As for Viertel, the senior hurler was next to untouchable in three innings of work by striking out five batters and walking just one. Peyton Keeran then came in and pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief and allowed two runs on two hits and one walk while striking out one. Then, to finish the game, Ben Horst pitched 2 2/3 innings and struck out three batters while giving up just two hits and one walk.
As for the pitching for Fulton, they were completely opposite of Boonville. While Boonville had only one hiccup all night, the Hornets practically struggled in every inning except the fifth.
Senior John Holtkamp took the loss for Fulton by giving up six runs on seven hits and one walk in just two innings of work.
Of course it didn’t help the Hornets that they surrendered at least one run in every inning but one. However after the four run first, Boonville came back and tacked on two more runs in the second on a RBI-single to center by Avery Reardon and a infield single to third by Connor Barnes.
The Pirates also plated one in the third on one error and a hit batter and one again in the fourth on a RBI single to left by Trae Williams to extend the lead to 8-0. Then, after giving up two runs in the top-half of the fifth on one hit, two walks and one error, Boonville came back and added another run in the sixth on an infield single by Williams and three consecutive walks to go up 9-2.
Ethan Waibel, Connor Barnes and Trae Williams each had two singles and one RBI to lead the hitting attack for Boonville. Kole Ficken doubled and two in two runs while Dylan Watson had one double and one RBI, Avery Reardon one single and one RBI, Carson Campbell one single and Samuel Wiser with one RBI.
For Fulton, Brennan Donohue was 2-for-4 with two singles.
Boonville also won the JV game against Fulton 13-3 in three innings.
Boonville JV coach Adam Arnette said Ethan Walker did a great job on the mound against Fulton. “He really filled up the strike zone and let his defense work behind him,” Arnette said. “Offensively, we did a great job being patient and waiting for our pitch. We took advantage of any pitch they left over the plate. We had eight different guys with hits with a total of 10 hits. This was a great way to start off the season and we need to continue to improve as the season continues.”
Like the varsity team, the Pirates JV left little doubt against Fulton while exploding for nine runs in the first, three again in the second and one in the third. Fulton scored one in the first and two in the third.
Walker pitched all three innings for Boonville and gave up three runs on six hits and one walk while striking out two for the win.
As for the hitting in the game for Boonville, Tristan Hauptmann and Josh Polk each had two singles and drove in two runs. Cale Fox added a triple while Tyler Schuster had a double and three RBIs, Chris Gross with one double and two RBIs, Dawson Barnthouse with one single and two RBIs and Peyton Taylor and Zayne Mesik each with one single and one RBI.