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“The ultimate baseball player”: Bobby Boser leads Gatemen to walkoff win over Firebirds

Bobby Boser (USF) watches his walk-off single during Wareham’s 5-4 win over the Orleans Firebirds, July 15, 2023 at Spillane Field in Wareham. Photo by Maddy Djuric.

Bobby Boser’s big focus at the plate is keeping things simple. It always has been.

So perhaps when he was called to pinch-hit in the bottom of the ninth inning with about five seconds to prepare, it was a stroke of luck.

The Gatemen were in a do-or-die situation Saturday night before Boser came to the plate. The bases were loaded, the game was tied 4-4 and there was one out left for the Gatemen to work with before the game would be forced into the 10th inning. After leading 4-2 up until the top of the ninth inning, when the Orleans Firebirds knocked in two runs, Wareham was in desperate need of a comeback victory.

Manager Ryan Smyth stood in the dugout, running through all the possible scenarios that might happen in the next few minutes of the game. His decision to put Boser in, he said, required less thinking and was more of a gut reaction.

“I knew he was the guy who was going to put the ball in play regardless,” Smyth said. 

Boser did just that in Wareham’s 5-4 victory over Orleans, snapping the team’s five-game losing streak and bringing a resurgence of confidence among the Gatemen.

Besides Smyth’s faith in him, Boser also had another thing on his side: his patience. After working three walks Friday night against Harwich, the USF utility man shot up to lead the league with 23 walks to his name. The odds were in his favor to reach base in some way, somehow, and Smyth knew that.

Despite his miniscule preparation time, Boser knew he wasn’t going down — to first base or the dugout — without a fight. After sitting on one strike and two balls, Boser rocketed a hit to straightaway center to drive in the winning run and clinch the victory. He threw his helmet in the air after he rounded first base with a shout, and his teammates joined in on the celebration all the way back to the dugout.

“I just wanted to make contact with the baseball, and that’s what happened,” Boser said. “I saw a fastball, and it was up, and I hit it.”

Before Saturday’s game, Boser said he hadn’t been making as much contact as he’d like. Speaking his game-winner into existence, he said he hoped more contact would come soon. Clearly, it did.

Thanks to Boser, high fives, celebratory back slaps and grins spread throughout the Gatemen dugout postgame, as they finally put a win on the board. They were celebrating the victory, but they were also celebrating the man who made it possible.

“He’s awesome,” Smyth said of Boser. “He’s a guy you can’t wait to get to the ballpark to be around.”

No matter the day or the situation, Boser always keeps a positive attitude and has a smile on his face. He’s one of the last remaining Gatemen who has been on the roster since the beginning of the season, and a player who stands out because of his talent and personality alike.

“He’s that ultimate baseball player that loves being out here,” Smyth said. “He plays seven different positions, which is so valuable out here…ultra utility guy who runs the bases well.”

Boser has played every position for the Gatemen with the exception of pitcher, catcher and first baseman, and has done so with ease. He brings something special to the Gatemen in that aspect, with enough flexibility to go wherever his team needs him to go, whenever they need him to.

Whether it’s drawing walks, getting hits or making plays in the field, Boser is — without a doubt — a skilled baseball player. He’s coming into his own, and he’s doing it arguably in the toughest place to do so.  

“He’s really, really starting to see the ball well the last couple of weeks,” Smyth said. “He’s a very good player who I expect to go very high in the draft at some point.”