The Branson Pirates varsity baseball team has had a blistering start to their season, shutting out five out of their seven opponents in less than two weeks.
The team began their winning streak at their home field, Pirate Park, versus district opponent, Parkview on March 18. After three attempts to get on base, Sophomore Andrew Bristow batted the only point of the entire game. Senior Carter Jenkins led the Pirates from the mound with 6 and 2/3 shutout innings. Sophomore Collin Ross finished the pitcher’s duel game with a save for the Pirates to shut out Parkview 1 to 0.
The Pirates made bigger strides in their second game at home on March 18, against Chouteau, OK. Bristow and Jenkins once again led with 3 RBIs each. Freshman Ryder Schroeder scored 3 runs and senior Lance Strahan had 2 runs scored. Senior James Houston pitched 3 innings to end in a complete game shutout win of 15 to 0.
The Pirates picked up action the very next day on March 19, at Pirate Park facing off against Poplar Bluff. This was an instance of sleep and repeat for Bristow and Jenkins. They both led the Pirates to another game win without letting Poplar Bluff put any points on the board. Bristow got his first game win after pitching 4 innings, striking out 4 and giving up only 1 hit. Jenkins carried the momentum going 3 for 3. He totaled 4 RBIs and scored the first home run of the season for the Pirates. The team defeated Poplar Bluff 10 to 0.
The first game on the road was against Webb City on March 22. The absence of a home crowd didn’t slow down the Pirates from securing another win 5 to 4. Senior Kale Lankton pitched 6 and 1/3 innings to earn his first game win. Lankton had 3 runs, 2 hits and 5 strikeouts. Also scoring for the Pirates was Bristow with 2 for 3, Senior Heath Cole with 1 RBI, and Ross with 2 RBIs.
On March 23, the Pirates were back on home soil against Logan-Rogersville. Ross led on the mound with a 5 inning complete game shutout, 3 for 3 and 2 RBI. The team showed the depth of its lineup with action from sophomore Sam Adkisson going 3 for 4, 2 RBIs and scored 2 runs. Sophomore Kaleb Vejraska was 2 for 2 and 2 RBIs. Strahan was the final top performer of the game with 1 for 1 and 2 RBIs. Logan-Rogersville could not break through the Pirates’ pitching and batting line up to score and finished 10 to 0 in the Pirates favor.
The Pirates’ success has become a broken record as they shut out another game at home on March 26, against New Covenant 10 to 0. Senior Blake Green pitched 4 innings and got his first game win of the season. Junior Elijah Seitz shut out the game after pitching for 1 inning with 1 hit and 5 strikeouts. Ross and Strahan were once again top performers by leading the Pirates in most RBIs in the game with 3 each. Schroeder was 2 for 2 and scored 3 runs.
Just a few hours later after the team outrivaled New Covenant, they turned up the heat for the home crowd facing off against district opponent West Plains. It was a big day for Jenkins on the mound and at bat. He earned his second game win of the season and struck out 8 players in 6 innings. At bat, Jenkins led the team in hitting going 3 for 4 and 2 RBIs. Ross improved his season hits with a perfect 2 for 2 and 3 runs scored. Adkisson was 2 for 4, 1 RBI and 1 run scored. West Plains got one run past the Pirates but couldn’t stop the Pirates from taking the game 6 to 1.
In just nine days, the Pirates have already surpassed their season record from the past four years. Their winning streak of 7 and 0 makes them the district favorite since they are the only undefeated team. They will return to action on March 31, at Aurora.