Baseball: Boerema finds another good situation – West Central Tribune

WILLMAR – Owen Boerema knows he’s landed in a lot of good situations.

The 2019 Litchfield High School graduate was a Class AA All-State pitcher for the Dragons, who set school records for career strikeouts (212), ERA (1.22), and wins.

Boerema played at Division III University of Northwestern in St. Paul and was designated an All-American. He won Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year for the second year in a row and was Region 9 Pitcher of the Year that season.

Boerema ended his second summer with the Mankato MoonDogs of the Northwoods League on Tuesday.

And next year, Boerema makes the jump to Division I baseball, announcing Monday that he’ll be moving to the state of Kansas. He has two years left to play.

“I’ve honestly been super blessed with the people I’ve been with and the way things have been laid out this past spring and for the last few years,” Boerema said.

While Boerema had a stellar sophomore season at Northwestern in 2021 (7-2, 2.08 ERA, 92 strikeouts), bigger things were yet to come. He laid the foundation for an even better junior season during his first stint with the MoonDogs.

“When I was promoting the MoonDogs last year, things didn’t always go the way I wanted them to,” Boerema said, “but there was a lot of growth on and off the field as I prepared for games and grew from.” playing recovered. It learned a lot from the senior guys.”

He added: “I used to be where I showed up (and) I threw. Well the prep part of getting my arm ready to throw and taking care of my arm was big. And just more of the mental side was the biggest thing overall. When you’re a pitcher, you have to think you’re better than the hitter. You just have to attack them, otherwise you’ll get timid and it won’t work.”

The 2022 collegiate season got off to a slow start as Boerema posted a 1-1 record with a 3.72 ERA in his first four starts.

Mankato MoonDogs pitcher and Litchfield High School alum Owen Boerema fires during a Northwoods League game against the Willmar Stingers Tuesday, May 21.

Joe Brown/West Central Tribune

But in April, Boerema was a stunner. He won all five of his starts that month and gave up only two heats. The 6-foot-5 left-hander had double-digit strikeouts in all five games, including a school-record 21 in a 5-0 win over Crown College on April 9.

“I was just in a groove,” Boerema said of the track. “My team played really well behind me and always supported me when running, which takes a lot of stress off. I was just put in good situations and made the best of it.”

He finished this spring with a 9-2 record, a 1.42 ERA and 139 strikeouts with 26 walks and a .172 batting average against. Northwestern won the UMAC with a 17-4 conference record (27-16 overall).

After his dominant college season, Boerema admits the jump was just in the back of his mind. After discussing this with his coaches, he entered the NCAA transfer portal to explore his options.

“I didn’t necessarily want to leave,” Boerema said, “but that’s how you talk to coaches.”

Kansas State came out early and most aggressively. The employees had seen Boerema promoting the MoonDogs. Two other wildcats — pitcher Tyson Neighbors and infielder Orlando Salinas — are on Mankato’s roster. Kansas State finished seventh in the nine-team Big 12 Conference with an 8-16 record (29-29 overall).

“I visited and it was really impressive,” said Boerema. “The coaching staff and the culture seemed really great and that’s really important.

“It’s been a whirlwind how things have unfolded.”

Boerema made four starts for the MoonDogs this summer, going 2-1 with a .78 ERA and 27 strikeouts and seven walks over 23 innings. His last start came Tuesday at Bill Taunton Stadium, 27 miles from his hometown against the Willmar stingers instead.

“I had a lot of family here and some school friends. There were old coaches and just baseball fans around,” Boerema said after the game. “It’s great to see that I graduated three, four years ago and still have that support.”

The final start for Mankato didn’t go as Boerema had hoped. He took the loss after five innings of work, hitting four with four carries (one earned), five hits and two walks allowed.

Owen Boerema.JPG

Owen Boerema is a 2019 graduate of Litchfield High School. As a senior, he was a Class AA All-State baseball team.

Archive photo

But Boerema is quite pleased with how year two with Mankato has ended.

“The team was great; I’ve built a lot of good relationships,” he said. “I played the way I wanted. I didn’t do that last summer. I felt really good throwing this summer.”

When he trades his purple Eagles jersey for a purple Wildcats jersey, Boerema thinks he’s in another good spot.

“The people, the coaching staff that I met, they seemed genuine and they really wanted me there,” Boerema said. “It felt good to be wanted. Kansas State, it just felt right.”

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