The Boonville Pirates baseball team entered Saturday’s bonus games at Duck Stadium in Ozark  as the No. 1 team in Class 4 at 21-2 overall.
While ranked for most of the season in Class 4, the No. 1 ranking was a first for the Pirates in the history of the program. But even that may be short-lived as Boonville fell in both games over the weekend, losing to Ozark 10-1 and Battle 5-4.
The two losses also snapped Boonville’s nine-game win streak which stretched over period of 25 days. The Pirates last loss came back on April 11th against the Columbia Rock Bridge Bruins.
Boonville Pirates baseball coach Fred Smith said great venue to play, unfortunately they did not play well.
“We gave up five runs in the first inning and never got anything going offensively,” Smith said. “We played a lot of people and got ruled. Second game we continued our hitting woes, compounding that with multiple errors which costs us runs. Basically, we went to Ozark and did the very things we pride ourselves on not doing such as lead-off walks, swinging at breaking balls in the dirt, taking fastballs for strikes, getting picked-off, and a coaches worst nightmare: botching a rundown. We did not play our brand of baseball so it was a very disappointing weekend. Hopefully, we got this out of our system before districts and the senior leaders will take an active role.”
While managing only five runs on nine hits in two games, the Pirates pitching staff which has been the backbone of the team this spring was roughed up for 15 runs on 19 hits.
The good news is that Boonville will try to snap out of a 0-2 slump against Columbia teams with the final game of the regular season on Wednesday against Father Tolton in Columbia starting at 5 p.m.
Of course you could sense it was going to be a long game against Ozark after giving up five runs in the bottom-half of the first on four hits and three walks.
However after a disastrous first inning in which nine batters came to the plate for Ozark, the Pirates rallied back with one run in the top-half of the second on back-to-back singles by Dalton Bealmer and Jady Reese.
Unfortunately for Boonville, they would have nothing to show for the rest of the game while leaving six runners on base. The Pirates also had their best chance to score since the second in the top-half of the sixth after loading the bases with two walks and a single by Bealmer. But even that went nowhere as the Ozark pitcher came back to get the next-two Boonville hitters on fly outs to end the inning.
Ozark, meanwhile, put up another run in the third on two hits to extend the lead to 6-1. Then, after a scoreless fourth and fifth innings by both teams, the Tigers all but sealed the victory in the sixth by adding four more runs on three hits and three walks to make it 10-1.
The pitching staff for the Pirates also took a beating in the game while giving up 10 runs on 11 hits and eight walks.
Jared Viertel took the loss for Boonville, dropping him to 5-1 on the season. While lasting only 1/3 inning, Viertel gave up five runs on three hits and three walks.
Of course it was pitcher by committee after that as Smith used four different pitchers over the next six innings. Zach Weber threw 2 2/3 innings and allowed one run on three hits and one walk. Mason Hage then came in and pitched part of the fourth and issued one walk. Meanwhile, after Weston Fahrenbrink pitched 1 2/3 innings and yielded two hits, Tavious Brazil came in and pitched 1 1/3 innings and surrendered four runs on three hits and three walks while striking out one batter.
Ozark also out-hit Boonville 11-5, with Noah Suter going 2-for-3 with a single, double and two RBIs. Cade Little and Preston Sundlie also had two hits in the game.
For Boonville, Dalton Bealmer went 2-for-3 with two singles while Avery Reardon, Jady Reese and Hunter Edwards each had one hit.
As for the game against Battle, the Pirates had a little better start with one run in the bottom-half of the first on a one-out walk by Jady Reese and a sacrifice fly by Bealmer to make it 1-0.
However, in the top-half of the second, Battle rallied back with three runs on three hits and two errors to go up 3-1.
Of course the Pirates would stage their own rally after that while adding one run in the bottom-half of the second on a RBI-single to third by Bryce Fuemmeler and one again in the third on a hit batter and an error to tie the game at 3-all.
Meanwhile, after a scoreless fourth, Battle plated another run in the top-half of the fifth on one hit and one error to go up 4-3 only to have Boonville rally with the tying run in its half of the inning on a RBI-triple to left by Bealmer to make it 4-4.
The Pirates never got any closer to take the lead in the ballgame as Battle scored what turned out to be the winning run in the seventh on a walk and a double for a 5-4 victory.
Jake Esser took the loss on the mound for Boonville to drop to 6-1 on the season. Esser pitched six-plus innings and gave up five runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out four. Kellen Barnes, meanwhile, pitched to three batters in the seventh and recorded two line outs and a fielder’s choice.
Lane Threlkeld picked up the win on the mound for Battle and struck out eight batters in 6 2/3 innings. He also gave up three runs on three hits and two walks.
As for the hitting in the game for Battle, Michael Morris went 3-for-4 with two singles and one double while Matt Page had two hits.
For Boonville, Dalton Bealmer went 1-for-1 with a triple and two runs batted in while Bryce Fuemmeler added a single and one RBI and Blake Barnes and Dylan Watson each with one single.