The Boonville Pirates baseball team had a pick me up in the best possible way Thursday against Lakeland in the annual Boonville Wood Bat Tournament at the high school ballfield.
With the defense showing its ugly face again with four errors, the Pirates turned to their offense to surge past Lakeland-the No. 5 ranked team in Class 1-for a 9-4 victory.
Boonville Pirates baseball coach Adam Arnette said he knew it was going to be a close game because Lakeland played good fundamental baseball.
“We kind of let them get back in the game with our defense, which wasn’t as solid as it has been over the last couple games,” Arnette said. “But I thought the players put their heads down and had some good approaches at the plate and came out on top.”
While the defense has been up and down all season, the offense has surged in recent weeks.
Such was the case against Lakeland as Boonville again got off to a good start with two runs in the bottom half of the first on two hits, which included a lead off triple to center by Connor Barnes and a RBI-single to left by Saylor Marquez.
But even that was short-lived as Lakeland answered back with two runs in the top half of the second on two walks, a RBI-single up the middle by Blake Munsterman and a single by John Hodge.
The Vikings also threatened in the third after a lead off single and an error. But after getting the next two hitters on a fielder’s choice and strikeout, senior catcher Dylan Watson gunned down a Lakeland runner at first to end the inning.
Boonville plated three more runs in the bottom half of the third on a RBI-single to right center by Saylor Marquez, a balk to score Malik Brazil from third and a RBI single to right by Josh Polk to extend the lead to 5-2.
Lakeland answered back again in the top half of the fourth with two more runs on two hits. The Vikings loaded the bases after two singles and a walk. Then, after a fielder’s choice scored the first run, Lakeland came back with the second run in the inning on a overthrow to second to cut the lead to 5-4.
Boonville also loaded the bases in its half of the fourth after three walks but came away empty.
The Pirates turned a double play in the fifth to thwart Lakeland’s bid to tie the game. Then, after a 1-2-3 inning by Boonville in the bottom half of the fifth, Lakeland had another baserunning mistake when a runner was gunned down at third for the third out in the inning.
The Vikings never got any closer in the ballgame as Boonville came back and broke the game wide open in its half of the sixth with four runs on three hits and one walk to make it 9-4.
Carson Campbell led off the sixth for Boonville with a single to left, followed by a walk by Lane West, a fielder’s choice for a run by Trae Williams and a two-RBI single to left by Watson. Then, after getting Saylor Marquez on a fly out to center, Cody Garner drove in two runs with a single to center to closeout the scoring.
Lakeland went down in order in the seventh to end the game.
Trae Williams picked up the win for Boonville while Ryan Taylor took the loss for Lakeland. Williams, 2-2 on the season, pitched the first five innings and gave up four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out six batters. Kayle Rice then came in and pitched two innings in relief and allowed just one walk while striking out two batters.
For Eldon, Taylor pitched three innings and gave up five runs on six hits and four walks while striking out two batters. Landon Dull also pitched three innings in relief for the Vikings, giving up four runs on four hits and two walks.
Arnette said both Williams and Rice pitched well. “Our pitching has been pretty good the last few games,” Arnette said.
Boonville also out-hit Lakeland 10-4, with Saylor Marquez going 2-for-3 with two singles and two RBIs. Trae Williams also had two hits with two singles and one RBI while Carson Campbell added two singles, Connor Barnes with one triple, Dylan Watson with one single and two RBIs and Cody Garner and Josh Polk each with one single and one RBI.
For Lakeland, Corbin Meeker, Carter Bauer, Blake Munsterman and John Hodge each had one hit. Munsterman and Zach Wrigley also drove in one run each.