Having a fair balance of pitchers who can either throw left or right is important in any baseball lineup.
Streetsboro’s Gabe Boyer will supply Shawnee State with that kind of ability during the 2020 baseball campaign, as the freshman will supply an additional talent boost to a baseball program that already returned all but one arm from the 2020 unit.
“It’s a relief,” Boyer said of making his college decision. “Honestly, with all of the pressure of finding the right spot and the right program, Shawnee State just felt right in the end. They made the process an easy one for me.”
At Streetsboro, Boyer helped the Rockets improve through lean times. An 11-11 season was followed by a 3-16 campaign in Boyer’s sophomore season after the Rockets lost 10 players to graduation the year prior, but in 2019, Boyer helped Streetsboro improve its win total by four games en route to drawing a team-high 13 walks and posting a strong .386 on-base percentage while starting in right field.
In 2020, Streetsboro was poised for greater success as the Rockets returned each of its 137 innings pitched and every letterwinner from the 2019 roster. Boyer was poised to be a major contributor in the Streetsboro batting lineup and pitching rotation again as a senior, but the circumstances resulting from the spread of COVID-19 kept the lefty from playing his senior season of high school baseball.
Despite this, Boyer has kept a positive mindset — and was simply proud to play for Chris Scisciani along with the rest of Scisciani’s staff and his fellow teammates. Scisciani has served as Streetsboro’s head baseball coach in each of his 15 seasons with the program.
“Streetsboro is a town where everybody knows everybody,” Boyer said. “Everytime we’d have a game, someone would always be there. Playing for something like that, to me, has been amazing. It’s always been a lot of fun playing for Streetsboro. We’ve had a tight team with a lot of stability inside the program, which has been huge for all of us.”
With Boyer’s addition, Shawnee State has a capable player that can not only pitch, but play a corner outfield spot if need be. The incoming freshman’s already well-aware of what it takes to succeed in both spots.
“There’s many similarities throwing a ball from the outfield and pitching,” Boyer said. “The biggest difference is the slope of the mound to the flat group of the outfield, and a lot larger window to throw it when you’re in the outfield. It all starts with the correct mechanics.”
With Boyer’s recruitment, chalk up another victory for Casey Claflin. The 2018 Shawnee State graduate and former letterwinner, who is in his second year as an assistant on staff, has put together the bulk of SSU’s recruiting class. Boyer was especially pleased with Claflin’s energy and willingness to communicate.
“(Casey) Claflin reached out to me first and was real cool about everything,” Boyer said. “Getting to know everybody was great. They were really easygoing, which was important to me.”
As Boyer gears up for the next four years of his academic and athletic career, the future psychology major is hoping to make a lasting difference and impression on his fellow teammates, the coaching staff, his peers, and the entire SSU campus as a whole.
“I want to impact lives there,” Boyer said. “I want to leave my mark anywhere and everywhere that I go. Shawnee State is no different. Furthering my career is a given. I want to make sure there’s nobody else like me.”
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