BOONVILLE — The sweet crack of a wooden bat is something not often heard in high school baseball where aluminum bats are the norm.
But Wednesday at the Boonville Wood Bat Tournament, Hickman put the wood on the ball often.
Three doubles in the second inning gave the Kewpies a four-run lead in an eventual 5-0 victory over the Centralia Panthers.
Centralia, on the other hand, only managed five hits against Hickman sophomore pitcher Jonathan Jones. Jones struck out 13 Panther batters in a complete-game shutout.
“I just wanted to win,” Jones said. “Striking them out is easier on the defense.”
Hickman coach Dan Devine said he expected nothing less of Jones.
“He is just a very tenacious pitcher out there on the mound,” he said. “He’s not going to give in to anybody.”
After Centralia loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the sixth inning, it looked like it Jones might be finished. The Panthers attempted two squeeze bunts, but Jones struck out the next three batters to end the threat.
“I was pretty pumped up,” Jones said. “I mean, seeing the squeeze kind of messed me up a little bit. Then I got my composure back and threw strikes.”
After the game, Devine said he didn’t even think about changing pitchers.
“He threatened my life if I was going to take him out,” he joked.
The win evens Hickman’s record at 7-7. They play two games in the tournament on Thursday, first against Grain Valley at 3 p.m. and then against Boonville at 5 p.m. Both games will be played at Harley Park in Boonville.