Brandon Boyle’s patience has been rewarded.
Boyle, a 2010 River Ridge High School graduate, waited for his chance to play NCAA Division I baseball, and it came.
When that happened, he waited to earn a spot in the starting rotation after solid bullpen outings for the No. 24-ranked South Alabama Jaguars out of the Sun Belt Conference.
Boyle had a career day against Arkansas-Little Rock on March 22 – his first Friday night start, which denotes the team’s No. 1 starter. He struck out seven and allowed three hits to pick up his first win. He’s 1-2 with a 3.94 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 32 innings, holding opponents to a .246 batting average this season.
Things were a bit rough but have settled down for Boyle since he’s joined the starting rotation. He has pitched in 10 games with four starts.
“I finally learned I have to hit my spots,” Boyle said. “That kills me when I don’t. There’s no easy guy in the lineup to face. It’s a little different than junior college and high school.”
In high school, Boyle was part of three consecutive 2A District IV title teams at River Ridge and went 7-1 with a 3.02 ERA as a senior in 2010 when the Hawks made it to the 2A regional. He signed with Lower Columbia College, where he went 10-1 with a 0.97 ERA in 2012, and when it came time to make a decision on continuing his career at a four-year school, he went east.
“I’m glad I made that decision,” Boyle said.
It’s been a season of adjustments for Boyle, going from Western Washington to Mobile, Ala., and from junior-college baseball to a top 25 team sporting a 22-7 record. The Jaguars were swept in a three-game series over the weekend at Florida Atlantic, with Boyle giving up four earned runs in five innings in a 6-3 loss Friday. That’s the team’s only regular-season series destination requiring a flight.
“The next flight we can hope for is Omaha (for the College World Series),” Boyle said.
DON’T RUN ON TALBOT
Ben Talbot, a 2010 Timberline graduate, has made life tough for opposing baserunners since he became the starting catcher for Concordia (Ore.) last season. His 44.4 percent success rate of throwing out runners (12 out of 27) ranks him first in the NAIA West region. He also ranks tied for fifth in the NAIA West region with two pickoffs. He was an all-NAIA West first-team pick as a sophomore last season when he threw out 22 on steal attempts. Tablot, a junior, is batting .258 through 32 games with 17 hits for the Cavaliers (16-16).
Saint Martin’s baseball team hasn’t collected many wins at 3-29 going into its non-league game with Pacific Lutheran on Tuesday, but catcher Chandler Tracy leads the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in many offensive categories.
The sophomore is batting .287 and ranked first in slugging percentage (.676) and home runs (11). Tracy has four more home runs than Central Washington’s Kyle Sani, who is second.
In softball, sophomore pitcher Sam Munger leads the GNAC in ERA (2.01), wins (10) and opponents’ batting average (.217) as the Saints head to Turlock, Calif., for the Tournament of Champions on Friday and Saturday.
COLWELL’S INTERIM TAG REMOVED AT SAINT MARTIN’S
Four months after Chad Colwell was named interim track and field and cross country coach at Saint Martin’s, he was made head coach for both programs. The Saints set 14 school track records since he was appointed interim coach in January.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org theolympian.com/southsoundsports @megwochnick