BROADWAY - In a week that’s seen multiple pitchers helping their own cause with good offensive showings, Tyler Bocock’s performance on Friday night may take the cake.
Bocock was dominant the entire game as he led the Reds to a 13-1 slaughter rule victory over the Broadway Bruins.
“I just wanted to do the best I can for my team, whatever that means,” Bocock said. “Sometimes it means not getting a hit and getting a walk, stealing a base, doing the little things. Sometimes it means being the guy. So I was happy tonight I could just be the best that I could for my team.”
Bocock was certainly the guy for the Reds on Friday. He struck out six batters in six and a third innings of work while allowing just one run to come across the plate. Bocock pitched four innings without allowing a hit before Boo Dean reached on a single in the bottom of the fifth.
At the plate, the Reds’ starter was even more dominant, finishing the night 3-for-4 with four runs scored and six RBIs. Two of Bocock’s hits were home runs, both going far over the left field fence.
With the Reds already up 5-0 and one home run under his belt, Bocock stepped up to the plate in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded. When he got to the batter’s box, he had some discussion with the home plate umpire about whether or not he’d hit another home run.
“It’s funny cause Frankie, the umpire, he said, ‘You gonna put another one in the trees?’” Bocock said. “He asked me so I said, ‘I’m gonna try.’ Sure enough he hung a curveball the first pitch and I hit it there and I came back around and said, ‘There’s your tree shot.’”
The grand slam put the Reds up 9-0, just one run shy of the slaughter rule mark, which they would eventually reach in the eighth inning.
The home runs were a big opportunity for Bocock, who only had three RBIs coming into tonight’s game. He hasn’t had much success driving in runs, but tonight’s performance is the first step in changing that.
“I’ve been struggling with runners in scoring position, so just trying to get something out there, get runners moving, bases loaded, that’s a big opportunity,” Bocock said. “To come up and get those RBIs, I think that just shifted the momentum completely, put them on their heels. We just kind of took over from there.”
The Bruins threatened a few times throughout the night, but never could get enough momentum going to make the game competitive. Their best shot came in the bottom of the seventh when they had the bases loaded with one out, but all three runners were left on base in the inning.
With the win, the Reds improve to 8-3 on the season and are just two games behind the Bruins in the Western Division. Bocock said the game was important in order to show the rest of the league what Bridgewater is really capable of.
“You’ve got that chip on your shoulder to prove how good we really are,” he said. “So when we get like that I think we want to prove it. I think sometimes we don’t get the respect that we think we deserve, so we want to just go out and prove it.”
The Reds will be at home tonight to host the Grottoes Cardinals before taking on the Bruins again Monday night. Both games are at Ray Heatwole Field with first pitch scheduled for 7:30 p.m.