Western Boone Jr-Sr High School

WeBo tops Lebanon in sectional opener

By Jeremy Dexter | May 23, 2024 8:23 AM


The Western Boone baseball team saw their offense clicking on all cylinders Wednesday night in the Sectional 25 opener against Lebanon. The Stars put together 11 hits and scored in five of their seven at bats en route to a 15-6 win over Lebanon at Danville. "I'm really proud of our at bats," Western Boone head coach Michael Nance said. "We had really good approaches at the plate, and we talked in practice all week about 'we first' at bats instead of 'me first.' We did a lot of work tonight with two strikes, hitting the ball to the opposite field. I'm impressed with the way our guys took care of business." The Stars also drew eight walks and had three hit batters. WeBo worked counts all night, forcing Lebanon pitchers to work deep into at bats. "We just talk about not missing your pitch," Nance said. "We are looking for balls in certain spots early in counts, and if it's not there take it. But if they get their pitch we want them to go to work." The 15 runs scored by Western Boone were the most allowed by Lebanon this season, surpassing the 12 the Stars scored in the second regular season meeting. Lebanon head coach Rick Cosgray said the Stars put the pressure on the Tigers every inning. "They had base runners every inning," Cosgray said. "We couldn't get anything past them and were putting everything in play. Credit to them, offensively they were very good." The Stars appeared to be cruising midway through the game. They led 3-0 after two, then scored six in the top of the fourth, getting a bases-loaded walk from Jackson Grimes, a 2-run single from Quinn Westerfeld and a 3-run homer from Luke Jackson to go up 9-0. But the Tigers wouldn't go away. They loaded the bases with no outs, but the next two batters were retired. Wesley Byrd cleared the bases with a 2-out double, and after the Tigers loaded the bases again, Corbin Wells hit a 2-run single to make it 9-5. "I was proud of our kids for the way we didn't hang our heads and kept competing," Cosgray said. "I really felt like we had a good plan coming in offensively, it just took us a little while to get going. Once we got within 9-5 with three innings to go, I thought we could come back and find a way to win, it just wasn't meant to be." The Stars regrouped after that tough half inning. Carter Marcum executed a perfect squeeze bunt to make it 10-5 in the sixth, before the Stars added five in the seventh on RBIs from Bryce Kopriva (sac fly), Jackson (walk), Marcum (2-run double) and Cole Wiley (single). "(Adding on) is something that is going to help our program going forward," Nance said. "Our older guys are leading by example, but we have some younger guys chipping in with big hits too." Gavin Hawkins was 3-for-3 with four runs scored for the Stars. Grimes was 2-for-2 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Jackson drove in four, with Westerfeld and Marcum driving in three apiece. The Stars, who set their school record with 17 wins on the season, face Danville at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. "We have to play defense well," Nance said. "We didn't do that against them in the second game during the conference series. Quinn is going to be on the mound, and we have to play defense behind him and keep hitting the ball like we did tonight." Wells went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Lebanon. The Tigers finish the season 11-14. "There was a little bit of chatter before the season about whether we could win three games, or five games," Cosgray said. "As the head coach, I was confident we could be much better than that. We ended with 11 regular season wins, so maybe looking at what some people said we overachieved a little bit. But this group was a fun group to be around and I am pleased with the effort they gave us." Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.

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