Article and picture courtesy of Will Willems of the Lebanon Reporter
The Western Boone baseball team was cruising right along in their season opener on Saturday morning.
The Stars led 5-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth inning, and host Cardinal Ritter hadn’t recorded a hit.
But then the wheels fell off for the Stars. Cardinal Ritter scored 14 runs in the fourth inning, and topped Western Boone 15-5 in six.
“It was a great game, we just had one bad half inning,” Western Boone head coach Phillip Webb said. “That inning buried us and put us away for good.”
The bottom of the inning started innocently enough, when the lead-off hitter struck out.
But after that, the next 15 batters reached – with six hits and nine walks.
All told in the inning, 19 batters came to the plate against five Western Boone pitchers.
“We gave them too many freebies,” Webb said. “It was time to pass the torch in that inning and get some other pitchers some time, and we just didn’t throw enough strikes.”
The first few innings showed a lot of bright spots for the Stars.
Western Boone scored in each of the first four innings, getting an RBI-single from Evan Hine in the first, from Elliott Young in the second, and an error in the third. The Stars scored two in the fourth, with an RBI-single from Young and a sacrifice fly from Hine.
“We were pretty disciplined,” Webb said. “Our approach was great. Our guys have been working with coach Barr on discipline and being on time every time, and it paid off. I think that’s what we will see the rest of the season.”
Tyler Brunty was also sharp on the mound.
Brunty pitched the first three innings, not allowing a hit and striking out five.
“He is going to be our rock on the mound and he’s our No.1,” Webb said. “He showed today what we expect him to do all year for us.”
Mitch Miller was 3-for-3 for the Stars, and Young was 2-for-4.
Western Boone is at North Montgomery on Tuesday.
“After a year off, it’s just great to be out here playing baseball,” Webb said. “We are looking to have a great year this year, and just didn’t start off on the right foot.”