The Boonville Pirates baseball team took a different route Tuesday night in a TCC clash against the Blair Oaks Falcons.
Instead of using small ball against the Falcons, Boonville capitalized on the long ball to get the job done as Saylor Marquez and Trae Williams each hit three run home runs to lead the Pirates past Blair Oaks 8-1.
While the win evened Boonville’s record to 7-7 on the season, it also paved the way for another conference title as the Pirates improved to 4-0 in their first season in the Tri-County Conference. If Boonville does win the conference title this spring, it will make four in a row for the Pirates.
Boonville Pirates baseball coach Adam Arnette used the word gritty for senior pitcher Connor Barnes, who grinded it out for six innings after being hit on the wrist in Blair Oaks half of the first.
“Connor really battled on the mound for us,” Arnette said. “He was hit on the wrist with a pitch in the first inning and was sore the rest of the game. He wasn’t 100 percent, but stepped up and was a leader for us. The team saw that and got behind him.”
Barnes also helped himself by giving up just one run on six hits and one walk in six innings. He also had four strikeouts to improve to 3-1 on the season. Reece Lang then came in and pitched one inning in relief and struck out one batter.
Parker Bax took the loss for Blair Oaks, who dropped to 9-9 on the season, by giving up eight runs on eight hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. Bax also struck out four batters for the Falcons.
With their fourth shutout of the season-third in the TCC, Boonville has also outscored its conference opponents 27-5 in four games.
Of course all it took was two runs in the first to get the Pirates going. With a total of seven batters coming to the plate in the inning, Boonville finished the frame with four hits.  Kayle Rice-a pinch runner for Barnes, stole home for the first run after  Barnes was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Trae Williams and Dylan Watson then hit back to back singles.
Then, in the three-run fifth inning, Williams again made some noise with a one out single to short. Two batters later with two on, Saylor Marquez launched his first home run of the season over the left field wall for a three run shot to extend the lead to 5-0.
Boonville plated three more runs in the sixth to go up 8-0 after a one out walk to Peyton Taylor, a single to center by Carson Campbell and a three run dinger to left by Williams. The home run was also Williams’ first of the season.
Blair Oaks, meanwhile, scored its only run of the ballgame in the bottom half of the sixth after a lead off triple to left by David Dell and a RBI double to left by Kamron Morriss.
Boonville also out-hit Blair Oaks 9-6, with Trae Williams going 3-for-4 with two singles, a home run and three RBIs. Dylan Watson had two hits, one being a triple. Saylor Marquez homered and drove in four runs while Josh Polk, Peyton Keeran and Carson Campbell added one hit each.
“We had some good approaches at the plate early and that allowed us to put a couple runs on the board,” Arnette said. “We started to hit the ball in the air too much and went cold for a couple of innings until Saylor came up with a big hit in the fifth. Saylor and Trae led the way for us with a combined seven RBIs between them. It was a big win for us and one of our best overall games this year.”
For Blair Oaks, Dell went 2-for-3 with one triple. Bax also had two hits-one being a double while Morris had one double and one RBI and Jacob Stegeman with one single.
In the JV game, Blair Oaks defeated Boonville 1-0.
The Pirates, dropping to 4-5 overall and 1-3 in the TCC, managed just two hits in five innings against Blair Oaks.
“It was a pitchers duel that we came up on the short end,” said Boonville JV coach Greg Hough. “Axton Nease and the defense worked out of some jams with limited damage and Ethan Walker pitched well in his inning of work. We need to improve at the plate but credit to Blair Oaks pitcher for keeping us off balance.”
Nease took the loss for Boonville by giving up one run on three hits and three walks in three innings. He also struck out four batters. Walker then came in and pitched one inning in relief and allowed one hit while striking out three batters.
Spencer Steakley and Landon Williams had the only hits in the game for Boonville, both of which went for singles.