The Boonville Pirates baseball team had two tough losses Monday  during its trip to Alabama while dropping a 11-1 decision against Opelika in the first game and a 8-6 score in the nightcap against Austin (Decatur).
The Pirates, 1-2 on the season, will play two more games today against Oak Mountain at 4:30 p.m. and Tuscaloosa at 7.
Despite the two losses, Boonville Pirates baseball coach Adam Arnette said the team came down to Alabama to see some great competition, and that is exactly what they have seen. “We have seen a couple of schools who are nearly triple our size who play the game the right way,” Arnette said. “We struggled to make plays at times, and it showed. Bryce Harris did a great job in relief and has saved us some arms.”‘
The Pirates needed plenty of arms in the game against Opelika. While giving up 11 runs on nine hits, Boonville also went through three pitchers in the process with senior Reece Lang getting the loss.
Lang, 1-1 on the season, pitched a total of three innings and gave up three runs on five hits while striking out three batters. Nathan Platt then came in and pitched 2/3 inning and allowed eight runs on four hits and four walks while striking out one. Then, to finish the game, Bryce Harris pitched 1 1/3 innings and surrendered just one walk while striking out one.
Although the Pirates struggled at times to put the ball in play, Opelika had little trouble scoring runs while pushing across three in the second and eight in the fourth to win by the mercy rule. Boonville’s only run of the ballgame came in the bottom half of the third on an infield single to short by Connor Barnes.
Trae Williams, Cale Fox, Cody Garner and Peyton Taylor also singled in the game to round out the hitting for Boonville.
Arnette said Lang came out and threw the ball well. “Opelika was a very good hitting team and fouled a lot of balls off,” Arnette said. “That got his pitch count up, and made it so we had to go with a couple of inexperienced arms. We put the ball in play well, but they made the most of the plays and we never really strung any hits together.”
In the game against Austin, the Pirates couldn’t have started any better as Peyton Keeran led off the game with a triple to center in the top half of the first and scored on a RBI-single to center by Trae Williams.
Runs, however, were hard to come by after that as Austin pitchers shutdown Boonville for the next four innings.
The Pirates never led again after the top half of the first as Austin rallied back with two in the bottom half of the inning and three in each of the second and fifth innings to go up 8-1.
However in the sixth inning, Boonville cut the lead to two by exploding for five runs on three hits, two walks and two errors to make it 8-6.
While sending a total of 11 batters to the plate in the inning, Keeran got the Pirates going again with a lead off double to second. Then, after scoring a run on a fielder’s choice and an error, Dylan Watson hit a hard ground ball single to left to score another run to make it 8-3. Two batters later, Lane West singled to short to bring in another run. Peyton Taylor then received a free pass to first, followed by a fielder’s choice by Saylor Marquez for a run to cut the lead to three at 8-5. Carson Campbell then reached on an error by the shortstop for the fifth run in the inning and sixth overall.
Boonville had only one runner reach base after that as Josh Polk received a two out walk in the seventh.
Connor Barnes took the loss for Boonville by giving up five runs on two hits and two walks while striking out nine batters in four innings. Harris then came in and pitched two innings in relief and allowed three runs on two hits.
Easton Williams had two hits in the game for  Austin while Peebles doubled and Smallwood tripled.
For Boonville, Keeran went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple. Trae Williams, Dylan Watson and Lane West each had one single and one RBI to round out the hitting.
Arnette said Barnes came out and dominated the strike zone. "He threw four innings and struck out nine," Arnette said. "Bryce Harris came in relief in this game as well and did a great job. We did a great job fighting back, but came up just short. Peyton Keeran led the way offensively with two hits."