To call Wednesday’s Hannibal vs. Boonville game a pitcher’s dual would be a bit of an understatement.

To call Wednesday’s Hannibal vs. Boonville game a pitcher’s dual would be a bit of an understatement.
The two teams combined for three runs on nine hits. The two pitchers baffled hitters all day, one with pure power and another with control. The result was a 2-1 Boonville win that snapped Hannibal’s four-game winning streak and dropped the ballclub to 12-6 on the year.
After the loss Hannibal head coach Clint Graham called the game “fun,” despite the outcome.
“It was just a pitchers dual,” Graham said. “That’s just a great high school baseball game. It was fun to be a part of.”
Hugenberg was the hard-luck loser, despite fooling the Boonville hitters all game with a nasty assortment of pitches. The senior right-hander used his fastball effectively — blowing it by overmatched Boonville hitters. Hugenberg pitched all seven innings, allowing just two runs on four hits. He struck out 14 hitters ­— including the last seven he faced — and walked just two.
“My fastball was working for me today, as was my defense behind me,” Hugenberg said. “The bigness of the game — them being a ranked team — got my adrenaline pumping and got me ready to go.”
Hugenberg struggled with his command in the first inning, walking two batters and giving up an RBI single to Boonville’s Shawn Bruce with two outs, but settled down as the game wore on. He struck out the side in the third and then again in the sixth and seventh. Hugenberg said he didn’t tire as much as they game went on.
“Being out there and the intensity of the game — the adrenaline starts pumping and it carries you through the game,” Hugenberg said.
Both of Booneville’s runs came on balls that were not hit all that hard. Bruce’s single in the first and Jesse Monk’s single in the fourth were both bloop hits to the shallow outfield.
“It’s funny how baseball works,” Graham said. “They scored their two runs on two bloop hits that Neil made great pitches on. But, they put the bat on the ball and that’s what you have to do.”
Hugenberg said it was tough to watch his good pitches fall in for bloop hits.
“It’s hard as a pitcher, but when you pitch so many games, you’re going to get hits like that,” Hugenberg said. “The best way to deal with it and not worry about it and come back strong.”
The Pirates were not so lucky at the plate. Boonville’s Grant Davis pitched to contact — he recorded just three strikeouts all game — and his defense picked him up. Hannbial had chances, but everything was either hit right at a Boonville defender, or close enough for the tough defensive play to be made. Hannibal hit the ball hard, but only was able to record four hits in the game.
Hannibal had an opportunity to win, or at least tie, the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. After Zach Nichols led off the inning and scored on a bases loaded walk by Dustin Wisdom, Kyle Arthaud stepped up to bat with the bases loaded and two outs. Arthaud hit a sharp grounder to first that died on the wet grass for an unassisted force out at first by the first baseman.
“They hit bloopers and scored runs, we hit line drives that were outs,” Graham said. “But, my boys played hard — they battled.”
Hannibal will try to get back to its winning ways Friday. The team will travel to Jefferson City to take on Helias High School. First pitch is at 5 p.m.