Pirates finish the season at 17-9 overall
It was supposed to be the game of all games, matching the No. 1 seed versus last year’s Final Four team in the Boonville Pirates baseball team.
After losing to the Helias Crusaders 3-2 in eight innings back on March 26th, this was supposed to be different this time around for the Pirates.
But it was anything but different as the Crusaders rode the arm of senior lefty Zach Davidson and hitting of Trevor Austin for a 6-0 victory.
Helias, 21-4 on the season, will host Marshfield in a Class 4 sectional game on Tuesday, May 21.
While the Pirates closed out the season at 17-9 overall, 17-5 in the state of Missouri, head coach Adam Arnette said his team still had a good season with every team Boonville lost to this season still playing.
“First of all I thought the seniors had a great career,” Arnette said. “Reece Lang came up just shy of the single season strikeout record and Connor Barnes is our career strikeout leader, so all in all I felt like the seniors did a good job for the last four years. However I still think we have room to grow and I challenged our guys to put some work in for next year but this definitely doesn’t leave a good taste in your mouth. Reece started off really good and then Helias put a couple of good swings on the ball in the middle of the game and that was the difference.
“But I thought we would hit the ball a little better since we had already seen him earlier. We had some good at bats but we never put the ball in play and never really put things together to move the runners. He just found that groove early and kept find his spots and did a good job of mixing it up. He went through the lineup one way and then he flipped it and started pitching everybody backwards and then everybody was just guessing after that.”
Davidson more than did his job. While holding Boonville to two hits in the first meeting, Davidson was even better this time around while giving up just a lone single in the top half of the seventh to senior Trae Williams. Davidson ended up with 12 strikeouts but also had four walks in 6 2/3 innings.
As for senior Reece Lang, the senior hurler finished the season with a record of 5-4 with a total of 83 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings for an ERA of 2.541.
Of course with neither team doing a lot of hitting earlier on, the Crusaders got the break they were looking for in the bottom half of the third when junior center fielder Peyton Keeran lost the ball in the sun for a lead-off double by Zach Wolken. It went from bad to worse after that as Wolken advanced to third on a high throw on a pick off attempt by Lang at second. Then, for the first run, Helias bunted Wolken home safely to make it 1-0.
Arnette said losing the ball in the sun was just dumb luck. “Things like that happened and they took advantage of every mistake we made and that’s what good ballteams do,” Arnette said.
Boonville also got its first runner on in the third on a one-out walk by Carson Campbell. Then, in the fourth, Garner received another free pass to first via a walk.
Helias tacked on two more runs in the fourth on the lead off home run to left center by Austin and a RBI-single to left by Wolken to extend the lead to 3-0. Then, in the fifth, the Crusaders added three more runs on a solo home run to left center by Zach Paschal and a two-run home run to left by Jacob Weaver to complete the scoring.
Boonville went down in order in the fifth and sixth innings of play. However in the seventh, the Pirates put two on with a one-out walk to Keeran and a single to left center by Trae Williams. Davidson then got Lane West on a strikeout to end the game.
Trevor Austin went 2-for-3 in the game for Helias with a single, home run and one RBI. Jacob Weaver also had two hits with a single, home run and two RBIs while Zach Wolken added a single, double and one RBI, Zach Paschal with a home run and one RBI, Alex Loethen with one single and one RBI and Zach Wuehr and Griffin Buschjoust each with one single.
For Boonville, Trae Williams came off the bench to go 1-for-1 with one single.