MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Last Friday, a baseball player from Litchfield broke a state record that had stood for 36 years.
Owen Boerema extended his hitting streak to a never-before-seen 34 games in a row.
“I usually just try to not overthink it too much,” Boerema said. “Some guys they go up there and they’re trying to guess fastball or curveball, and what pitch it’s gonna be,” he said. “I just kind of go up, try to put a nice swing on it.”
So there’s the secret of how Owen Boerema could do what has never been done before … right? Not so fast. For most of that streak, he didn’t even know he was doing it.
“I didn’t believe [my coach] at first,” he said.
Boerema’s streak started the first game of his junior year season, which was last year. It wasn’t until the season was over when his coach looked back at the stats and realized something.
“It didn’t look like too many hit-less games. So I looked closer, and sure enough he went 26 games with at least one base hit in every game last year,” Coach Jeff Wollin said.
It was within the top 10 of all time — and only about seven games away from tying the state record, Wollin said.
Although Boerema started the year with a bit more pressure, he hit the record-breaking ball at his 34th game last week.
“It was a really good feeling, and it’s hard to comprehend,” he said. “Like, not since 1983. My parents were like five. That’s a long time ago.”
It’s something not even retired Twins player Joe Mauer did.
“I mean, I’m not claiming to be any Joe Mauer. But there’s a pretty good amount of pride that goes into it,” Boerema said.
The most surprising part? His coach didn’t have him bat his sophomore year.
“Sophomore year they DH’d for me,” Boerema said. “I wasn’t able to hit at all, just because I couldn’t.”
That put a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
“I worked pretty hard that summer because I didn’t want to sit on the bench again,” he said.
So let that be a lesson. If there’s something you’re not good at, just keep at it. You just might become the best there’s ever been.
“Just really cool, to be able to do it,” Boerema said.
His streak came to an end Thursday night when he walked, reached an error, and grounded out in three plate appearances. He also stole a base and scored a run, but got no base hits.
He did, however, pitch a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts to help his team win 4-0.