Pirates finish 3-0 in Boonville Wood Bat Tournament

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Boonville shortstop Colby Caton goes behind the bag at second to catch a ground ball in the opening game of the Boonville Wood Bat Tournament Friday night against Centralia. The Boonville Pirates baseball team finished 3-0 in the tournament, beating Centralia 6-2, Eldon 13-12 in eight innings and South Callaway 11-1 in five innings to improve to 7-4 overall.
Boonville senior pitcher Axton Nease throws out a runner from Eldon in the second game of the Boonville Wood Bat Tournament Saturday at the high school ballfield. Boonville defeated Eldon 13-12 in eight innings.

Boonville Pirates baseball coach Adam Arnette wanted to see what his team was capable of Saturday in the final game of the Boonville Wood Bat Tournament at the high school ballfield.

After beating Centralia  6-2 on Friday and then winning 13-12 in eight innings in a sloppy game Saturday against Eldon, Arnette wanted to see how the team would respond against the South Callaway Bulldogs.

As it turned out, Arnette said the Pirates probably played their most complete game of the tournament by beating South Callaway 11-1 in five innings.

While finishing the tournament at 3-0, Boonville also improved to 7-4 on the season. Centralia finished second in the tournament at 2-1, followed by Eldon at 1-2 and South Callaway 0-3.

“As far as going 3-0 it was great to get some games in and get the guys some opportunities to play and get better,” Arnette said. “We are fortunate to have the turf field to be able to get this whole tournament in.”

With rain forecasted pretty much all night on Friday, the Pirates were able to get the game in against Centralia and made the most of the opportunity with a four-run fourth inning, which proved to be the difference. Boonville also out-hit the Panthers 6-3.

“In this game, we just wanted to be selective at the plate and move the runners over,” Arnette said. “I thought Lane (West) and Colby (Caton) did a great job filling up the strike zone and that's exactly what we wanted to do, especially in a game like this. Offensively, I saw guys working situations and trying to go do certain things like hitting the ball behind the runner to move them over. I also thought we were aggressive on the base paths, but overall we didn't have a lot of mental mistakes like we have the last couple games.”

Of course the Pirates were far from being perfect in the game while committing four errors compared to six for Centralia.

However, the game was never really in doubt as Boonville led 5-1 after four and 6-1 after six. The Panthers scored their final run in the seventh.

Lane West picked up the win for Boonville by giving up just one run on one hit and two walks in four innings. He also had two strikeouts. Colby Caton then came in and pitched three innings in relief and allowed one run on two hits and one walk while striking out two batters.

Ethan Adams took the loss for Centralia.

As for the hitting in the game for Boonville, Peyton Taylor continues to swing a hot bat while finishing 2-for-4 with a single, double and one RBI. Caton also had two hits with two singles while  Saylor Marquez and Kayle Rice added one single each.

For Centralia, Kile Chitwood went 2-for-4 with two singles.

In the first game on Saturday against Eldon, the Pirates looked like an entirely different team.

Arnette said he noticed it before the game. “We were definitely flat,” Arnette said. “I don’t know if it was because it was a morning game, so it really didn't shock me that Centralia jumped out in front. We could have easily rolled over when we got down 9-0, but they fought back. You have to give the kids credit for battling back. We’ve had some guys that have been struggling this year, so this was also a game where we wanted to put our best lineup on the field. We made some changes to figure out what some of these guys can do and give them a chance.”

Of course it didn’t help that Boonville dug itself a hole while giving up four in the second and five in the third to trail 9-0. However, after a four run third inning to cut the lead to one at 9-8, Boonville came back and tacked on another run in the fourth to tie the game at 9-all. Meanwhile, in the fifth, Eldon plated three more runs to go up 12-9 only to have Boonville send two across in the bottom of the inning to make it a one run ball game at 12-11. The Pirates tied the game again in the sixth with one run to make it 12-12. Then, after a scoreless seventh, Boonville came back and scored the winning run in the eighth when Jamesian McKee led off the inning with a walk and scored on a fly ball to center by Max Eckerle, which was dropped.

Peyton Taylor picked up the win in relief for Boonville by giving up just two hits and two walks in four innings. He also had two strikeouts. Kayle Rice started the game and pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three batters. Shane Chamberlain then came in and pitched 1 1/3 innings and issued five runs on four hits and two walks while striking out two batters. Then, before Taylor took the mound for the last four innings, Axton Nease came in and pitched one inning and yielded three runs on six walks while striking out one batter.

Gage Williams took the loss for Eldon.

While finishing the game with 10 hits, five of those went for doubles for Boonville. Ethan Watson went 2-for-4 with a single, double and two RBIs. Colby Caton finished the game with a single, double and one RBI, while Lane West and Shane Chamberlain added one double and one RBI each and Connor Rhorer with one double. Peyton Taylor had one single and two RBIs, while Cade Schupp and Max Eckerle added one single and one RBI each. Saylor Marquez and Jamesian McKee also drove in one run each.

For Eldon, Ben Cline, Jude Rader and Hunter Hees each had two hits. Hees also drove in three runs. 

In the final game Saturday against South Callaway, the Pirates left little doubt while pushing across 11 runs in the first-three innings to win by the mercy rule.

Arnette said the coaching staff once again shook up the lineup and went with guys that were swinging a hot back, and it paid off. “I thought Cody Garner and Bryce Harris looked great on the mound,” Arnette said. “Both were efficient with their pitches and worked with a purpose. At the plate, we had guys going up with a purpose and looking for certain pitches to get a job done. It was a big improvement from the morning’s game.”

Boonville also got off to a good start against South Callaway by pushing across two runs in the first and five again in the second to make it 7-0. Then, after South Callaway plated its only run in the top half of the third, Boonville came back and added four more runs in the bottom half of the inning to extend the lead to 11-1.

Cody Garner picked up the win for Boonville by giving up one run on two hits and two walks while striking out two batters in three innings. Bryce Harris then came in and pitched two innings in relief and allowed just one hit.

Boonville also out-hit South Callaway 11-3, with Saylor Marquez going 3-for-3 with one single, two doubles and four RBIs. Jamesian McKee had two singles and drove in three runs while Connor Rhorer added two singles, Cade Schupp, Ethan Watson and Max Eckerle with one single and one RBI each, Caidyn Hazel with one single and Colby Caton with one RBI.

For South Callaway, Jacob Lallier, Ryan Lepper and Hunter Kistner each had one single.