Beat Oak Grove in the second game, 3-1
The Boonville Pirates baseball team knew they would have their hands full Thursday night on the road against Pleasant Hill and Oak Grove in the West Central Missouri Baseball Tournament at Warrensburg High School.
Having already played four games in four days going into Thursday’s doubleheader, head coach Fred Smith knew it would be a patch job for the three games in the tournament and three again next week against Rock Bridge, Fulton and Hannibal in that order.
So after suffering their first loss of the season in the opener against Pleasant Hill 8-2, Boonville came back to salvage the second game with a 3-1 win over Oak Grove.
Smith said all in all not the best effort. “In the first game against Pleasant Hill, we just couldn’t get the key hit,” Smith said. “We had opportunities every inning to score but just couldn’t do it. We just couldn’t put a hit together. I thought Conner (Pond) had his best out for the first-four innings of so. Obviously with all the games we’ve had in the week or so we needed to maximize how much he could throw. I think he left the game down 2-1 and had a runner on after a double. Zach (Weber) then came in and pitched to contact. Tip your hat off to them, they hit the ball. We just didn’t come out of the game I feel ready to play. The weather conditions weren’t great. The wind was blowing obviously pretty hard across from the left to the right field corner. It just wasn’t our best effort.”
Although the Pirates played well defensively against PHill, they also stranded five batters and managed just six hits in the ballgame.
But even then, Boonville led Pleasant Hill 1-0 after four complete innings after putting up one run in the third on the lead-off double to right by Riley Lang and the RBI-single to right by Zach Weber.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, the hits and runs for that matter were almost non-existent as Boonville stranded only three runners for the next-three innings.
Pleasant Hill, meanwhile, opened the flood gates in the fifth inning by exploding for four runs on hits and two walks to lead Boonville 4-1. In all, the Roosters had nine batters come to the plate in the inning and started the rally with two outs and two on.
Pleasant Hill also tacked on three runs in the sixth on five hits with eight batters coming to the plate. Then, after Boonville plated another run in the bottom-half of the sixth on a RBI-single to center by Hunter Spaedy to cut the lead to 7-2, Pleasant Hill came back and added one in the seventh on two hits for the victory.
Garrison Fields picked up the complete-game victory for Pleasant Hill while Conner Pond took the loss for Boonville. In seven innings, Fields struck out six batters and gave up two runs on si hits and two walks. Pond, meanwhile, pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on three hits and three walks while striking out a season-high nine batters.
Zach Weber pitched part of the fifth and issued one run on two hits and two walks while Tavious Brazil threw 2 1/3 innings in relief and yielded four runs on seven hits and two walks.
Pleasant Hill also out-hit Boonville 12-6, with Levi Jack collecting three hits and driving in one run.
Matthew Campbell had a single, double and two RBIs while James Barnes added two singles and three RBIs, Dylan Adams two singles and one RBI, JD Stewart with one triple, Garrison Fields with one double, Jack Taylor with one single and Tyler Crane with one run batted in.
For Boonville, Riley Lang had the only extra base hit with a double while Zach Weber, Kole Ficken, Hunter Spaedy, Nick Zeitlow and Makiah Waibel each singled. Weber also drove in one run.
In the second game, Smith said sophomore pitcher Jared Viertel pitched a gem and then Mason Hage came in for two innings and did his job.
“We did just enough in this game,” Smith said. “We had a couple of timely hits to get by. We didn’t play near well enough defensively, though. It was by far our worst defensive game of the season. It was a combination of lack of focus, cold weather and wind. It’s kind of like the hitting, hopefully its contagious when one hits well they all hit. Same thing last night with the fielding. We missed simple things that we normally do. We missed a couple of cut off relays and dropped balls that we normally catch. We had chances to blow the game wide open. Granted they’re ranked in the top 10 but I feel like we were head and shoulders above them. We are happy to get the win but obviously we are not playing our best baseball.”
It wasn’t just Boonville that struggled. While the Pirates out-hit Oak Grove 6-2, both teams had six errors in the ballgame and stranded a total of 17 runners (Boonville 10, Oak Grove 7).
The Pirates also trailed briefly after Oak Grove put up one run in the top-half of the third to go up 1-0.
However it was all Boonville for the rest of the game with one run in the bottom-half of the third, fourth and fifth innings of play for the victory. The Pirates scored their first run on one hit, one hit batter and one error. Then, in the fourth, Kole Ficken hit a two-out RBI-single to center to make it 2-1. Meanwhile, in the fifth, Boonville plated another run on one walk and two errors.
In all, the Pirates left two on in the first, one in each of the second and third innings of play, two in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in each of the sixth and seventh innings of play.
Jared Viertel picked up his third win on the mound for Boonville by giving up just one run on two hits while striking out eight batters. Mason Hage then came in and pitched two innings in relief and walked two while striking out one.
Garrison Walton took the loss for Oak Grove by giving up three runs on three hits and four walks. He also struck out one batter in six innings.
As for the hitting in the game, Kole Ficken went 2-for-4 with two singles and one RBI. Riley Lang tripled and drove in one run while Brady Gholson added a single and one RBI and Jady Reese and Hunter Spaedy each with one single.
For Oak Grove, Riley Matson and Jackson Englehard each had one hit.