Pirates nab six on TCC Baseball Team
The Boonville Pirates baseball team would like to get at least three games back in the Tri-County Conference during the 2021 season.
After finishing 4-3 in the TCC, the Pirates fell to Hallsville, Southern Boone and Blair Oaks to finish fourth overall.
However, during the all-conference selections on Thursday, Boonville placed a total of six players on the team. Jamesian McKee and Peyton Taylor were both first team selections, while Saylor Marquez, Cade Schupp and Cody Garner were all second team selections. Senior Kayle Rice was named to the honorable-mention team.
In the final standings in the TCC, Blair Oaks captured first at 7-0. Southern Boone finished second at 6-1, followed by Hallsville at 5-2, Boonville 4-3, California 3-4, Eldon 2-5, Versailles 1-6 and Osage 0-7.
With districts beginning this week in Ashland, Boonville Pirates baseball coach Adam Arnette said it was good to bounce back and get things going after the slow start on the season, as well as the conference.
“We finished 4-3 in a very competitive conference,” Arnette said. “Our losses were to three solid teams, but they were early in the season and we are playing much better baseball right now. Overall, we finished the regular season at 14-5. After losing three of our first four games of the season, we were able to go 13-2 in our final 15 games. Our guys really focused on doing their jobs and came together as a team. I hope we continue to do that as we enter postseason play.”
Brian Ash and staff at Southern Boone were selected as the Coach/Staff of the Year. Ethan Osborne, also of Southern Boone, was the Pitcher of the Year, while Wil Libbert, of Blair Oaks, was the Player of the Year.
Of course the two first team selections came as no surprise for Boonville.
While starting for the Pirates in center field and pitcher this season, McKee finished with a .317 hitting clip with 19 hits in 60 at bats with 14 singles, three doubles, two home runs, 19 RBIs and 17 runs scored. McKee is also 3-1 on the mound with an ERA of 1.313 with 36 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings.
Arnette said McKee has been a big part of the team both on the mound and at the plate. “Jamesian is just a great all around athlete,” Arnette said. “He has put together a great year in his first full varsity season and we look for him to continue to improve in all aspects of his game. He looks to be a big part of our team next year as well.”
As for Taylor, nobody has improved more at the plate this season. Although Taylor started off slow like a lot of his teammates, the senior standout came on strong for the month of April and May to hit .354 with 17 hits in 48 at bats with nine singles, five doubles, three home runs, 19 RBIs and 14 runs scored.
Arnette said Taylor has been a leader this year and has stepped up his game completely. “He has gotten our bats going multiple times and has led our team in multiple offensive categories,” Arnette said. “I would say he is one of the best second basemans in our conference. He has put together a great year, and has been a big part of our program the past few years.”
Marquez also picked up where he led off two years ago as the starting first baseman for Boonville. While hitting .362 for the season, Marquez also has a team-leading 21 hits in 58 at bats along with six doubles, one triple and 19 RBIs. Marquez also has 14 singles and 17 runs scored on the season.
Arnette said Marquez has been super consistent the last few years on varsity. “He has been a great defensive player, and has been able to consistently hit the ball to all fields and drive in runs,” Arnette said. “He has been an anchor in the middle of our lineup in his last two varsity seasons.”
Schupp has also picked up steam in the last few weeks while starting in right field and pitcher for Boonville. While leading the team with a .389 average, Schupp also ranks first on the team with 21 hits in 54 at bats with 15 singles, one triple and 24 runs scored. He also has five doubles and 13 RBIs. Meanwhile, on the mound, Schupp is 2-2 with an ERA of 4.90 with 36 strikeouts in 20 innings.
Arnette said Schupp has done a great job in his first full season on varsity. “Cade has been a force on the mound and has done a great job in the leadoff role for us this season,” Arnette said. “He has been able to start many innings for us lately, and we look for him to continue to do that this year and to play a big role on the team next year as well.”
As for Garner, the senior standout has been a pleasant surprise on the mound while leading the Pirates with the best record at 4-1 with an ERA of 1.465 with 26 strikeouts in 28 2/3 innings. At the plate, Garner is hitting .268 with 11 hits in 41 at bats with eight singles, three doubles, 11 RBIs and eight runs scored.
Arnette said Garner has been a leader this year and a bulldog on the mound. “He is the definition of a true competitor,” Arnette said. “When Cody is excited and into the game, the team really gets behind him and it is fun to be a part of. He has also been a guy who has been able to jump into any role that is asked of him and has been able to play a wide range of positions this year.”
As of Rice, the senior catcher/left fielder has caught fire lately at the plate with a .319 clip with 15 hits in 47 at bats with 12 singles, two doubles, one home run, 14 RBIs and two runs scored.
Arnette said Rice has done a great job managing the pitching staff this year. “He does a great job behind the plate, and has even had the opportunity to play some outfield for us,” Arnette said. “He is a great defensive catcher who can also hit the ball well.”