The Boonville Pirates baseball team came within one game of moving on in the state playoffs this season after losing to Helias last week in the district championship.
But as far as the Tri-County Conference, the Pirates were golden after finishing its first season in the conference unbeaten at 7-0.
Boonville Pirates baseball coach Adam Arnette said winning the conference is a great accomplishment for the boys. “I’m proud of them for winning the school’s first conference championship in the new conference. There are some, well coached teams in this conference so winning the conference is a tremendous feat. This is an honor for these guys to have been named all-conference. They are amongst a bunch of great ballplayers.”
In the final-team standings, Southern Boone and Hallsville finished in a two-way tie for second at 5-2, followed by Blair Oaks at 4-3, California at 3-4, Osage and Eldon each at 2-5 and Versailles 0-7.
As for the all-conference team, Boonville had three first teamers in seniors Reece Lang, Connor Barnes and Dylan Watson while Trae Williams was named to the second team.
The Pirates were also well represented on the Class 4 District 9 All-District Team. That team also consisted of  Lang, Barnes and Watson along with newcomer Saylor Marquez.
Lang, who was the Pitcher of the Year in the TCC, finished the season at 5-4 with an ERA of 2.541. In 52 1/3 innings, Lang struck out 83 batters and gave up 29 runs-19 earned-on 49 hits and 14 walks.  In conference play, Lang pitched a total of 23 1/3 innings and gave up just two runs on 12 hits and three walks while striking out 46 batters. He also won three of the seven conference games for the Pirates.
Arnette said Lang has been great all year on the mound. “He was very consistent in his conference outings,” Arnette said. “He was dominant in every performance, and the conference noticed, naming him Conference Pitch of the Year.”
Barnes was also worthy of receiving Pitcher of the Year honors after finishing the season 6-1 overall with an ERA of 1.370.
In 46 innings this season, Barnes gave up 12 runs-9 earned-on 29 hits and 14 walks while striking out 75 batters. In the TCC, Barnes gave up one run on seven hits and four walks while striking out 16 batters in 15 innings. He was also undefeated in the conference at 3-0.
Of course while splitting time between pitching and playing second base, Barnes also hit .292 on the season with 21 hits in 72 at-bats with 16 singles, two doubles, two doubles, one home run and six RBIs. He also scored 14 runs during the season. In conference play, Barnes hit .400 with eight hits in 20 at bats with four singles, two doubles, one home run, four RBIs and six runs scored.
Arnette said Barnes had a great season on the mound and at the plate. “He has been a real competitor and always wants to be the guys on the mound,” Arnette said. “He has been consistent every day he pitches, and his overall stats show it.”
Watson also had a banner year behind the plate for the Pirates. While playing in all 26 games, Watson finished second in hitting only behind Trae Williams with a .385 clip with 25 hits in 65 at bats with 20 singles, three doubles, one triple, one home run and 12 RBIs. He also scored four runs and led the team in walks with 18. In conference play, Watson hit .474 with nine hits in 19 at-bats with five singles, two doubles, one triple, one home run, three RBIs and scored one run.
“Dylan has anchored the catcher’s position for the last three years and has done a heck of a job,” Arnette said. “He has been great defensively and has been able to call all of his own pitches as well.”
Williams also returned in center field this season for the Pirates not to mention he was 4-2 as the No. 3 pitcher with an ERA of 1.948. In 32 1/3 innings, Williams gave up 18 runs-9 earned-on 29 hits and 16 walks while striking out 31 batters. Meanwhile, at the plate, Williams led the team in hitting with a .388 clip with 26 hits in 67 at bats with 20 singles, two doubles, three triples, one home run, 12 RBIs and 24 runs scored. In the Tri-County Conference, Williams hit .346 with nine hits in 26 at bats with six singles, one double, one triple, one home run, seven RBIs and nine runs scored.
“Trae has solidified our outfield defense the past two years,” Arnette said. “He has done a great job of tracking down balls in the gaps. Trae does a great job of using his speed to get on base, take extra bases, and score more runs.”
Marquez also came into his own at first base this season for the Pirates. While playing on the C team last year as a freshman, Marquez proved that he belonged while hitting .339 with 21 hits in 62 at bats with 18 singles, two doubles, one home run, 21 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
In conference play, Marquez hit .455 with 10 hits in 22 at bats with seven singles, two doubles, one home run, 12 RBIs and four runs scored.
“Marquez came in this year and really hit the ball well,” Arnette said. “He carried us in a lot of games. He ended up still leading us in RBIs this year. He definitely earned his spot on the all-district team. People knew who he was and they definitely didn’t hesitate to put his name out there.”