Improve to 18-1 overall and 10-1 in league play
The Boonville Pirates baseball team couldn’t have predicted the outcome any better Tuesday night in the home finale against the Marshall Owls.
Win the game and the Pirates win their third straight NCMC title. But Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Marshall was more than just a conference game, Boonville also had a chance to secure a No. 1 seed in next week’s district tournament at Boonville.
While improving to 18-1 overall and 10-1 in the NCMC on Senior-Parents Night, junior Connor Barnes may have displayed his best game yet on the mound while holding Marshall to two runs on five hits in seven innings to improve to 4-1 on the season. He also struck out eight batters and walked one.
Boonville Pirates baseball coach Fred Smith said he was happy for the players on winning the conference title but the team still has some work to do.
“Connor did a great job,” Smith said. “He made a mistake on one pitch but all in all a hell of a job by him. That’s carried us all year long. And then on the other side another absolutely dismal performance of our hitters. We hit a couple of atom balls but the middle of the lineup again we got absolutely nothing. I will say this, the one positive thing we have done offensively in the last five-six games is when I ask them to bunt for the most part we got it down. We had one that didn’t get down tonight but for the most part we have been able to move some runners and we relay on that to execute.”
Hitting was definitely scarce. While Marshall wound up out-hitting Boonville 5-4, the Pirates seemed to score runs when they had to after putting up three runs in the bottom-half of the fifth on two hits and two errors.
Although the inning had more to do with what the Owls didn’t do than what Boonville did, the lead off double to center by Avery Reardon surely helped. That hit also set up the Pirates first run as Reardon was awarded first on a balk and then scored on a wild pitch. Then, after a single up the middle by Peyton Taylor and a sacrifice bunt by Carson Campbell, Boonville caught another break on back to back errors by by Marshall for two runs to extend the lead to 3-0.
Of course earlier in the top-half of the fifth, Boonville senior shortstop Ethan Waibel made the defensive play of the game by bare-handing a bad hop on a ground ball and throwing out a Marshall runner for the first out in the inning.
“Ethan made a heck of a play and got everybody charged up, but Connor made it easy for us because they didn’t have too many balls hit hard,” Smith said.
Barnes also set down the side in each of the first, third and fourth innings. Boonville, meanwhile, had runners on base in every inning. Unfortunately for the Pirates, Waibel had both of the teams hits through the first-three innings with a single in the first and a double in the third.
Boonville didn’t get another hit until the double by Reardon in the fifth.
Then, in the sixth, the Owls finally got on the board on a two run home run to center by senior Kyle Weber to cut the lead to one at 3-2.
Marshall had a chance for more after a double to center by Isaac Young and an intentional walk. However a ground out by Hollis Makings ended the inning.
The Owls also had the tying run on first in the seventh after a lead off single to center by Leyton Crawford. Luckily for Boonville, Crawford was picked off at first by catcher Dylan Watson. Barnes then did the rest by striking out the next batter and getting the final batter on a fly out to first to end the game.
Waibel’s two hits paved the way for Boonville, one of which went for a double. Reardon also doubled while Taylor singled. Barnes drove in two runs for the Pirates.
As for the hitting in the game by Marshall, Leyton Crawford went 2-for-3 with two singles. Weber homered and drove in two runs while Isaac Yung and Ben Haug each had one double.
Haug also took the loss on the mound for Marshall by giving up three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five.
In the JV game, Boonville defeated Marshall 10-0 in three innings.
The Pirates, improving to 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the NCMC, scored all 10 runs in the first-two innings with five in the first and five in the second.
Boonville JV coach Adam Arnette said there is not much more to say than the guys came out and hit the ball well early and often. “We had a lot of nine hits in the first-two innings,” Arnette said. “Cale Fox really started things off when he hit the first pitch over the right center wall. Fox, Garner and West all had two hits each. Garner and Walker did a great job on the mound by keeping Marshall hitless in the game.”
Garner picked up the win for the Pirates by striking out three batters and walking two in two innings. Ethan Walker then came in and pitched one inning in relief and struck out three batters while walking one.
Boonville’s JV also out-hit Marshall 9-0, with Cale Fox going 2-for-3 with a single, home run and three RBIs. Lane West was 2-for-2 with a single, double and two RBIs while Garner added two singles and one RBI, Clayton Gochenour with one single and one RBI, Dawson Barnthouse and Russell Potter each with one single and Tyler Schuster with one RBI.