Sports

Bocchi back in the mix for Beamer

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

Carsten Bocchi, the reigning South Puget Sound League South Division Most Valuable Player, made his first appearance in the Todd Beamer High School baseball team’s lineup in close to a year Thursday afternoon during a 13-2 Titan victory over Graham-Kapowsin. He finished 1-for-3 with four RBIs.

It wasn’t the best individual game Bocchi has played in his storied baseball career — far from it. But it might have been the most meaningful the 6-foot-1 Washington State University-signee has ever been involved in.

“It was really great to be out there and not sitting around in the dugout,” said Bocchi. “I was just glad to be playing again.”

Baseball had always been a constant in Bocchi’s life and something that he took for granted. That doesn’t happen anymore. Just being back on the baseball diamond Thursday afternoon was better than any of Bocchi’s numerous 4-for-4’s or complete-game shutouts.May 14, 2005, was the last real baseball game he played in. That was when Bocchi pitched the Titans to a 6-4 win over Kentlake in the South Puget Sound League title game.

Just two days after the win, Bocchi’s left arm started to swell during a Titan practice. He was rushed by ambulance, to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, where he spent two days hooked to an IV receiving blood thinners to break up a clot that had developed near his left collar bone.

After a injecting himself with medication for a lot of the summer, Bocchi was cleared by his doctors to start throwing a baseball again during the fall. After discontinuing the use of the blood thinners, Bocchi returned to the mound. But that’s when another setback occurred.

Just before the Titans played their opening game of the 2006 season in early March, Bocchi started feeling pain again in his left shoulder. He underwent arthroscopic surgery to correct the problem and was cleared again on Monday to start playing again.

But the Titans didn’t really miss a beat playing without Bocchi. Beamer is locked in a three-way tie atop the SPSL South with Jefferson and Puyallup and have already clinched a berth into the postseason.

It’s still up in the air whether Bocchi will be back on the mound for Beamer this season.

His doctors and Peterson don’t want to take any chances, especially with a scholarship to Washington State on the line. Bocchi started out playing right field Thursday.

“My arm feels strong and I should be 100 percent,” Bocchi said.

“Hopefully, he will be ready to roll,” coach Jerry Peterson said. “But getting him back pitching hasn’t even crossed our minds. It would be a miracle if he pitched for us.”

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