BERNIE MILLIGAN ALL-STAR GAME: BOGGIO RIDES OFF WITH HONORS GIVING UP MOTORCYCLES PAYS OFF FOR HART PITCHER.
Kyle Boggio sees them every day. The motorcycles sit there in the garage, just tempting him to take a ride. But Boggio's other passion helped him resist hopping on the motorcycles and he's glad he did.
With the motorcycle racing left to his twin brother, Kaulin, this year Kyle Boggio got his thrills in other ways. He saw his devotion to baseball pay off as he went from a reserve to one of the Foothill League's top players. Among the honors his play earned him is the chance to play for the East team Saturday in the 27th annual Daily News Bernie Milligan All-Star Game featuring the region's top seniors.
Boggio was a leading pitcher and hitter for Hart High, helping the Indians overcome a rough stretch to take second place in league and upset Marmonte League champion Westlake in the playoffs. Boggio finished with an 8-5 record, 2.21 ERA, one save and only eight walks allowed in 76 innings. He ranked second on the team with a .453 batting average in addition to contributing seven doubles, four home runs and 22 RBI.
``That was my goal going in, to do way better than last year,'' Boggio said. ``As long as I could come out and play every day and help the team I didn't care so much about my exact numbers. I didn't really do much to help them last year and I didn't want another season like that.''
Boggio pitched just 8 2/3 innings as a junior, posting an 8.08 ERA and earning one save. In 30 at-bats, he hit .167 with two RBI.
He doesn't want to use motorcycle riding as an excuse, but he knows it didn't help. His knee was badly injured in a preseason accident, forcing him to miss a significant amount of training time and putting him behind teammates even though he was healthy by the time the season began.
Boggio's love for baseball made him decide to give up the motorcycles.
``Unless you're not any good and not doing anything and just going really slow, you're going to get hurt,'' Boggio said. ``Everyone does; my brother messed up his shoulder and he's really good. I knew I'd get hurt again.
``But I still want to do it. I see my brother's bikes and they're sitting there calling me, `ride me, ride me.' It's torture.''
With more time to devote to baseball and conditioning, Boggio noticed a significant boost in strength and endurance this season. He threw seven of the Indians' eight complete games this season, which was particularly valuable to a staff that entered the season without an ace and unsure who would start.
``That's the big thing that really surprised me most,'' Boggio said. ``I could throw a complete game and next day I wouldn't be sore at all. ... That's what helped me a lot, my stamina in my arm.''
He's not sure when he'll ride anything more than his minibike again, but Boggio is sure he wants to keep playing baseball. He plans to pitch for College of the Canyons next season. He's already seen how satisfying it feels to be able to contribute.
``I was just glad the way I came out and performed,'' Boggio said. ``We needed someone to step up.''
Heather Gripp, (818) 713-3607
Kyle Boggio stayed away from motorcycles and was the driving force behind Hart's playoff run.
David Crane/Staff Photographer