Western Boone Jr-Sr High School
Big inning dooms Stars in sectional semifinal
By Jeremy Dexter | May 26, 2023 9:59 AM
A poor start hurt the WeBo baseball team on Thursday night in the sectional semifinal against Tri-West.
The Bruins jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first inning and topped the Stars 11-1 in five innings.
"We just couldn't get out of that first inning," Western Boone head coach Michael Nance said. "We aren't going to let one bad inning define our season, but it was obviously tough to come back from that."
Things started off poorly for the Stars, with a walk and an error before a 2-run double put the Bruins up 2-0 before an out was recorded.
The Stars got two outs with a chance to get out of the inning down just 2-0, but three singles, four walks and a hit batter allowed eight more runs to come across.
"We don't ever want to walk people and right before the game started we talked about avoiding that," Nance said. "We knew we were going to throw a lot of guys tonight and challenged our guys to throw strikes and try to keep Tri-West off balance. We just didn't execute in the first inning."
After the first inning, Western Boone played better.
The Bruins didn't record another hit in the game, and managed just one more run on some walks in the fourth inning.
WeBo stranded two runners in the third, then scored in the fourth on an RBI-single by Marco Velazquez.
"We played four good innings of baseball after that first one," Nance said. "I'm not surprised by that, that's who we are. One bad inning isn't going to define us and the kids showed that."
Eli Duncan. Cole Wiley, Carter Marcum, Velazquez and Brennan Kopriva all had hits for the Stars, who finished the year 13-16.
It is the most wins for the program in several years and first time with double-digit wins since 2017.
"I am unbelievably proud of this group," Nance said. "I care a lot about all these kids and I think they know that. The way they played this year, I couldn't ask for more. If you would have told me 10 weeks ago this would be our record and some of the wins we we're going to get, I'd have said that was pretty good."
Nearly all the contributors for the Stars return next season.
Nance said the key for the group returning is to build on this season.
"I didn't even have to say much, one of our captains Carter Marcum stepped up and said 'this season's over, the next one starts Tuesday at weights,'" Nance said. "And it really does. Our guys are bought in and we are going to hit the weights hard this summer and keep getting better."
Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.