Schwarber couldn't have been warmer

Monday, June 16, 2014.

Kyle Schwarber, the fourth overall pick in the 2014 major league draft, was first in the hearts of Boise Hawks fans over the weekend. Schwarber s pro debut Friday night was punctuated by a three-run homer that gave the Hawks a 4-2 victory over the Tri-City Dust Devils. He added another three RBI in Saturday night s 10-5 win, going 3-for-4 for the second straight game. Last night, Schwarber clubbed his second home run of the season, a solo shot early in the Hawks 11-9 triumph. Three games into his pro career, Schwarber is batting .636 with eight runs batted in. The only downers were the two errors he was charged with for errant throws to second from his catcher s spot while trying to catch base-stealers.

Schwarber was inserted as the designated hitter last night, allowing catcher Justin Marra to see his first action of the season. Marra, hungry for a breakout season, uncorked a three-run homer himself to give the Hawks their first lead of the game. Boise would relinquish that advantage before coming back with a four-run eighth to seal it. The Hawks have now opened the season with three wins for the first time since 2001, all the way back in the Dontrelle Willis days. They have two more games left in the season-opening series with the Dust Devils.

Here's a guy you've got to root for: Hawks reliever Scott Frazier, who s back with the club after a 1-2 record and a solid 2.61 ERA in 2013. Get a load of Frazier's 2014 season so far. In three appearances, two for Class A Kane County and one for Boise, he has logged one-third of an inning and has allowed 12 runs on three hits with zero strikeouts and nine walks. He came into Saturday night's 10-5 win over Tri-City with a 6-1 lead and faced five batters. Four of them walked, and four of them scored. And Frazier threw four wild pitches to boot. His combined ERA between Kane County and Boise is an unheard of 270.00. These are tough times for the 6-7 right hander out of Pepperdine.

Boise State Elite Football Camp insiders (otherwise known as my nephews) report that Bronco quarterback commit Brett Rypien was lights-out in the combine-type session Saturday at Albertsons Stadium. He also threw a deep fade that he made look effortless, I was told. Rypien, the four-star recruit from Shadle Park High in Spokane, was a popular figure at the camp. And it apparently goes beyond that. I googled him, and when I typed in 'Brett,' Rypien came up before Favre, said one of the nephews.

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch thinks the St. Louis Rams receiving corps, including former Boise State star Austin Pettis, will be on the hot seat this season, and it s hard to argue with him. Strauss points out that the Rams not only passed over Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft last month, they didn t use any of their 12 selections in the draft on wide receivers. This is despite ranking 29th in the league in receiving yards.

The key for Pettis might be the return of St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford. A possession receiver, Pettis seemed to mesh with Bradford late in the 2012 season but caught only 13 balls after Bradford went down in Carolina (with a knee injury) last October, writes Strauss. Pettis, who s entering his fourth NFL season, registered a career-high 38 catches last year for 399 yards and four touchdowns (none of which came after Kellen Clemens took over for Bradford).

Boise State's Emma Bates couldn't match her Thursday night performance when she ran the 5,000-meters Saturday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. But there's nothing wrong with fourth place and the All-America honor that goes with it, and Bates will always have the national championship she captured in the 10,000-meters. What Boise State has as a result of the points earned by Bates and 3,000-meter steeplechase runner-up Marisa Howard is an eighth-place team finish, the highest in school history in any women's sport. Howard broke the Mountain West record in her event Friday night.

Graham DeLaet's going to figure out these majors sooner or later. He's too good not to. It didn't happen, however, at the U.S. Open. DeLaet turned in a 75 Friday to go with his first-round 75 on the famed Pinehurst No. 2 course and missed the cut at 10-over-par. The former Boise State star has shot 75 or higher in four of his last five rounds in majors dating back to last year's PGA Championship.

Not that fellow Australian Anthony Drmic will ever reach that level, but when you see Patty Mills play for the San Antonio Spurs, you see a certain Aussie grit, the energy of which rubs off on the team. The effort level seems to elevate when Mills is in the game, just as it does for the Broncos with Drmic. Mills, who made his professional debut with the Idaho Stampede on New Year's Day in 2010, was resurgent in the NBA Finals that ended last night with the Spurs 104-87 win over the Miami Heat in Game 5. He helped put the game away by scoring 11 of his 17 points in less than three minutes as San Antonio was building a 20-point lead in the third quarter. The Portland Trail Blazers, who had assigned Mills to Idaho in 2010, must rue the day they let Patty slip away.

This Day In Sports...June 16, 1999, 15 years ago today:

Chris Childs becomes the first former Boise State player to appear in the NBA Finals in Game 1 of the New York Knicks series against the San Antonio Spurs. Childs, the Knicks starting point guard, scored just two points with three assists and totaled only 12 points in the Finals as the Spurs won the NBA championship four games-to-one. The 1989 Big Sky Player of the Year was in the fifth season of a nine-year NBA career, by far the longest of any ex-Bronco.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)


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