Boise Hawks' new arms keeping opponents off the scoreboard

clangrill@idahostatesman.comJuly 20, 2013 

The number zero often symbolizes failure in the sports world, but there's at least one instance when it's a good thing: A pitcher's earned run average.

Coming into Friday night's game against Everett, Boise had five pitchers who were drafted in the first 10 rounds of June's draft with perfect ERAs.

The infusion of talent on the roster in the past three weeks has helped the team put together a seven-game winning streak, including Friday night's 9-2 victory atMemorial Stadium.

Boise pitchers have produced two shutouts in the streak, and have allowed 13 runs total in the seven games.

"A lot starts with your pitching, and when we've been winning ballgames, we've been getting some great pitching," Boise manager Gary Van Tol said. "The new guys are coming in and fitting in really well and understanding their roles."

The recently drafted pitchers are being brought along slowly in their first pro games, and have been limited to one or two innings.

Van Tol said that can help the pitchers have a chance at some early success.

"They know, 'Hey, I've got two innings, so I'm going right after them,'" Van Tol said.

But that can be easier said than done.

"Any level that you go to for the first time, you're going to be a little shaky," pitching coach David Rosario said. "Success is something that comes with confidence. … I've found out through the years, when pitchers come in and have a rough outing right away, that can stick with them for a little bit. So these guys can feel good about themselves, and now it's not about proving themselves. It's about competing."

And, at least lately, winning.

"We're all just trying to keep a scoreless inning streak for as long as we can, but that's not really what matters," said Rob Zastryzny, a second-round pick who has pitched six innings. "But as long as we're winning games, it's a friendly competition."

Rosario was quick to point out that it's not just the new pitchers who have been contributing lately. For example, third-year pro James Pugliese set the tone with six scoreless innings in Tuesday's 3-0 shutout at Hillsboro.

"We're all clicking at the same time," said fifth-round pick Trey Masek. "It's fun to be a part of."

HAWKS WIN AGAIN

David Bote hit a pair of home runs, part of a 15-hit attack, as Boise extended its win streak to seven games by stopping the Everett Aquasox 9-2 in front of a sellout crowd of 3,486 fans at Memorial Stadium.

The win streak for the Hawks is their longest since August of 2004, and guaranteed at least a .500 finish for the first half of the Northwest League season.

The two-homer game by Bote was the first since Dan Vogelbach hit two homers in a game at Everett in August of 2012.

Dillon Maples tossed three strong innings in the start, allowing a run on three hits, striking out three.

Chris Langrill: 377-6424

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