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Salt Lake Bees: Brennan Boesch is anything but a villain

By Ryan Miller

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Aug. 11 2014 10:40 p.m. MDT

Bees catcher John Buck throws the hitter out at first as pitcher Chris Volstad watches as the Salt Lake Bees play the El Paso Chihuahuas in Smith's Ballpark Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Salt Lake City.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

On Aug. 5 during a game in Fresno, Bees slugger Brennan Boesch was subject to a chorus of boos. On two consecutive pitches, Boesch's bat slipped out of his hand and flew into the Fresno crowd, the first time injuring a small boy. After the second bat reached the concourse, the Grizzlies crowd rained down jeers upon Boesch, thinking he was doing it on purpose. The crowd made him out to be a villain, but in reality he is just the opposite.

The following day, just hours removed from a red eye flight, the outfielder was at Shriners Hospital in Park City lifting up a toddler, helping him place a ball in an apple basket. Boesch and four of his Bees teammates spent the day volunteering at the hospital hanging out with the kids, playing whiffle ball and taking the chance to brighten any children's day.

"I'm just staying really positive right now," Boesch said. "I had a pretty rough incident in Fresno that shook me up a little bit, just bad luck with the bat going into the stands. It just was one of those things that I don't even know how it happened."

Boesch wanted to put the incident behind him, but before he could do so he knew he had to make it right to at least one little boy.

"The biggest thing to put that to rest was I reached out to the family (of the boy his bat struck)," Boesch said. "The little boy's doing well, and I was able to get some Giants tickets for the families and some other goodies from the Giants and turn a negative situation into a positive one. That's something as a ball player if you have the opportunity to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive, you jump all over it, and I was happy to do that."

With the incident behind him, Boesch has excelled at the plate. In the second inning of Salt Lake's 8-7 victory over Reno Monday, Boesch hit a single to right field. The single was the 11th straight at-bat that Boesch had reached base, breaking the franchise record. During the span, he was 8-for-8 with two home runs, four doubles and six RBIs.

Boesch's powerful swing is what has made him so effective in the last few days, but it was also the thing that caused the bat to slip from his grip.

"It's one of those things that when you're a guy that swings hard and lets the bat move the baseball, you can let it go and sometimes can't control it," Boesch said.

Boesch may not have been able to control the bat that night in Fresno, but he could control the way he has handled the aftermath. It appears he now can move on.

"That's the reality of being a human being, when you do something that affects somebody else and somebody's loved one, that was tough," Boesch said. "So to come back here and put Fresno behind me was a big deal for me."

Beelines

Bees 8 Fresno 7

In short: The Bees survived a ninth inning two-run rally by Fresno to hold on for an 8-7 victory Monday night. Salt Lake outfielder Brennan Boesch set a franchise record reaching base for the 11th consecutive time in the victory.

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