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WeBo finishes 2-1 on successful trip

Apr. 1—The Western Boone baseball team got tested, and came away with some good results over the weekend when they competed in Tennessee on their Spring Break trip.

The Stars went 2-1, picking up some good wins over teams from Tennessee and Alabama.

Head coach Michael Nance said he had no complaints about the way his team started their season.

"I was very happy with our effort," Nance said. "We talk every night about our defense being sound and not making errors. The two games we won, we didn't commit an error and our pitchers had 10 and 11 strikeouts. We did exactly what we were capable of there."

In the pre-season, Nance had said that the pitchers were a little bit ahead of the hitters going into the season.

That showed itself over the weekend.

The Stars expected top three starters of Bryce Kopriva, Jackson Grimes and Quinn Westerfeld combined to throw 13.2 innings, allowing just seven hits, four earned runs and strike out 26.

"Bryce had his good stuff, and was lights out after the first inning," Nance said. "Saturday morning, Grimes wasn't quite where he wanted to be, but he will get there and in the last game Quinn was electric and didn't look like a freshman out there."

One of the benefits of the trip to Tennessee is the Stars faced some teams that were already well into their seasons.

All three of the Stars opponents had at least 10 games under their belts. So to have the pitchers go out against live hitters who weren't their teammates and have that success — it was a good confidence builder.

"It was very encouraging, and maybe more for them than it was for me — because I knew what they were capable of," Nance said. "For them to go out and prove what we have been telling them they are capable of — they gained a lot of confidence from that."

The bats also got off to a decent start for the Stars.

Of the 12 players that got at bats over the weekend seven reached base multiple times.

They got production from up and down the line-up, and will only get better as the year goes on.

"Even the guys who didn't have the numbers we want to see as far as hits go, we had a lot of great at bats," Nance said. "We had some guys get a lot of hits too. It's not where we want to be, but not disappointed in what we did."

The Stars start things off in Indiana at Bethesda on Tuesday, then host Greencastle on Thursday.

More than any of the wins and loses from the first weekend, Nance said it was a good bonding trip to get things going.

"It's a good culture builder and that's why we want to go down there," Nance said. "We have seven seniors and they all know each other and get along well. It's a good group to be around and it was a good start to the year."

Game recaps

WeBo started the season with a 4-0 win against Rocket City (Ala.).

They took the lead with a three-run third, scoring on an error and a 2-run double from Carter Marcum.

WeBo tacked on another unearned runs in the fifth.

That was more than enough runs for Bryce Kopriva, who dominated on the mound. He allowed just four hits in the shutout, striking out 10.

Jackson Grimes, Luke Jackson, Marcum and Layton Yancey picked up hits.

In the second game, the Stars faced one of the top teams in Tennessee in Davidson Academy, and lost 9-2.

Cole Wiley went 2-for-2, with Yancey and Evan Kiplinger picking up hits.

The Stars bounced back with a 7-1 win over Community High School.

Community hit a lead-off home run to make it 1-0, but tied the game on a wild pitch in the second.

The Stars then took the lead on a wild pitch in the fourth.

In the fifth, Quinn Westerfeld hit a 2-run double to make it 4-1. Marcum made it 6-1 with a 2-run single two batters later, before Wiley hit a sacrifice fly to make it 7-1.

Westerfeld had a strong debut on the mound, striking out 11 in a complete game four hitter.

Marcum was 3-for-3 with three runs scored.

The Stars travel to Bethesda on Tuesday.

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.