The Hannibal baseball team made its senior night one to remember Tuesday as the Pirates blasted North Central Missouri Conference foe Moberly 10-0 in six innings.
“Everybody knows we have struggled a little bit this year,” Hannibal baseball coach Daryl Zessin said. “That bumps us up to, I think it is 3-6 in conference now. ... That is the first 10 run game that we have been in this year and fortunately we are on the winning side of that one. We have been winning a lot of one and two run ball games this year.”
Hannibal starting pitcher Jacob White was glad to have the offensive support.
“It feels good,” White said. “It feels like baseball again and we are having fun. It makes us want to get out here again and get ready for districts.”
With the sun shining and heating the area up, Hannibal had perfect baseball weather Tuesday. Zessin felt the warmer weather made a difference.
“It was a different feel,” Zessin said. “I think the weather was above 75 and the boys were excited to get hot for a change.
Already leading 1-0 after two innings, the Pirates batted around in the third, sending 10 hitters to the plate and scoring five times. And the scoring came mostly on a small ball type of play.
“We got some runners in motion and the boys hit the ball,” Zessin said. “That is what it is all about.”
Austin Lewton opened the inning with a walk and moved to third when Dalton Powell reached on a E6. Trevor Hertlein then drove Lewton in with a single.
With runners on first and second and one out, White reached first on a fielders choice, but a bad throw by Moberly’s pitcher allowed Powell to score instead of being out at third. Hertlein ended up at third following the error.
Hertlein wasn’t stationary for long though, as a wild pitched allowed him to score and sent White to third. Brandon Scott walked and Eric Hugenberg grounded out to second for the second out, but White was able to score. Austin Kirby then flew out to left field, however the ball was deep enough that Scott was able to tagup and score Hannibal’s fifth run of the inning. The RBI was also Kirby’s second of the game.
Hannibal added another run in the fourth when Powell opened the inning with a triple and scored on a single by Scott.
The Pirates plated two more runs in the fifth, this time it was Trevor Anderson and Jordan Wilson scoring for Hannibal.
Hannibal’s final run came in the bottom of the sixth. Moberly brought in a new pitcher, but from the get-go, he had control issues.
White opened the inning with a walk and advanced to second and then to third on a pair of passed balls. Scott ended up walking to put runners on the corners.
That brought Hugenberg to the plate. After fouling off the first pitch, another passed ball sent White scampering home for the 10th and final run.
Hannibal pounded out eight hits while also drawing six walks.
“That was pretty good,” White said. “It’s better than we have been seeing in our recent games.”
Scott led the Pirate batters with a 1-for-1 day at the plate. Scott had a single in the third and walked in his three other plate appearances. He also scored twice and drove in a run. Powell and Anderson were the only Pirates to record multiple hits. Powell was 2-for-4, scoring twice and driving in one while Anderson finished the day 2-for-3. Anderson scored once and had two stolen bases. Coincidently, Powell and Anderson also had Hannibal’s only extra base hits. Powell had a triple while Anderson drilled double.
White got the win for Hannibal, throwing a complete game shutout. White struck out two and scattered four hits while walking none.
“It was a lot better today,” White said. “Our defense was behind us and everyone was in the game. It makes a lot of difference when everybody is up and in the game to support you on the mound.”
Zessin was pleased with the way his senior pitched.
“Jacob is a senior and he hasn’t really pitched a lot this year,” Zessin said. “We have had so many rainouts we have kind of skipped people in the rotation once in a while. He hit his spots and threw his pitches where he wanted to. His location was on and we made some good defensive plays for him as well.”
Twice White retired five straight batters while on the mound. Thanks to a couple of double plays, White faced only two batters over the minimum through the first five innings.
“I was trying to keep the ball down and throw strikes,” White said. “It was hot out here today, so the quicker the innings, the quicker we can get in the dugout and that is better on the guys.”
Moberly’s best chance to score came in the fifth when the Spartans got a runner to third base with only one out. However, White induced an inning ending double play to get out of the inning unscathed.