It is unlikely that Rogersville senior Justus Boever, nor any Wildcats fan in attendance, will soon forget the day he had on Monday.
Boever had never before hit two home runs in a game. He had never hit a varsity grand slamn and he had never knocked in six runs in one varsity game. But all that changed against visiting Hollister.
The right-handed hitting first baseman cracked two opposite-field home runs and had six RBIs in the Wildcats’ 12-1 Central Ozark Conference win (in five innings) over Hollister as Rogersville finished the COC Small Division undefeated.
The Wildcats (16-3, 6-0) have won five consecutive small division championships, actually all of the titles in existence, dating back to the 2008-09 season when the conference realigned into two divisions.
“This was a good day,” Boever said with a sly smile and a reserved chuckle. “Yeah. That was a lot of fun.”
Rogersville scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning off two extra base hits and two hit batsmen.
Sophomore starting pitcher Tad Mitchell helped himself out with a two-run double to left and sophomore Jacob Schlesener followed with a two-run triple to right to give the Wildcats an early 4-0 lead.
In Boever’s second at-bat, he drove the ball over the wall in right-center field for a two-run homer, which gave Rogersville an 8-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
“I’ve never started the season off good and I’m always kind of flustered early on, but lately I’ve been hitting a lot more on my own in the cage, so I’m much more relaxed and I’m seeing the ball way better right now,” Boever said. “It feels very good to know that I’m starting to settle down and hit the ball well and drive in runs.”
In the bottom of the fourth, Boever drilled a line drive that barely clipped the top of the fence in the right field gap and went over for a grand slam, making the score 12-1.
“Both of Boever’s home runs were hard-hit line drives and we’ve been looking for that out of him all year,” Rogersville coach Casey Ledl said. “We’re trying to preach that to the rest of the kids. If we’re hitting the ball hard to right-center, then we’re going to hit it well all over the yard.”
Mitchell allowed one run off two hits and struck out four in five innings.
“He’s absolutely a competitor; that’s his number one trait,” Ledl said. “In fact, we’ve got to calm him down because he wants to do so well all the time.”
Mitchell went 1-for-2 at the plate with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored at the plate while earning the win on the mound.
“I started off feeling good and it just kept leading to better things. My past outings weren’t good and now it’s finally coming together,” Mitchell said.