Tucson native Braden Boisvert (last name pronounced Bwa-vair) is physically back at home in Southern Arizona this summer, but his mind is on Oregon State and improving his situation with the Beavers in the last two years of his available eligibility there.
He is part of the Sun Belt College League’s Old Pueblo Kings this summer after playing his first season with the Beavers this spring.
“I’m getting as many at-bats and innings as possible,” said Boisvert, a potent batter who was used exclusively as a right-handed middle reliever by Oregon State coach Mitch Canham this season. “Baseball is one of those sports that you can’t really ever take off. So I’m just continuing to play and be close to home.”
Boisvert, who grew up in Sonoita, is wearing his sixth different baseball uniform in the last four years beginning with his senior season at Empire in 2019 when he was a first-team all-state selection and Most Valuable Player of the 5A Sonoran Region.
His odyssey includes playing at Scottsdale Community College in the covid-shortened season of 2020 and then Seward County (Kan.) Community College in 2021.
The 6-foot-2 and 210-pound standout played for the Corvallis (Ore.) Knights of the West Coast Summer College League last year. One of his teammates was Central Arizona College standout first baseman/outfielder Kiko Romero, an Arizona signee who was the Most Valuable Player of the JUCO World Series won by CAC earlier this month. Romero is playing again this summer in Corvallis.
Boisvert joined the Old Pueblo Kings on Wednesday, a little over a week after Oregon State’s season ended June 13 against Auburn in the third game of the Corvallis Super Regional.
He cited the opportunity to play in front of family and friends at the Kino Sports Complex as a reason for competing in the Sun Belt College League this summer. He also is playing in a summer league that is growing with numerous Division I players on the rosters, including CDO grad Alex Bustamante, a right-hander at New Mexico State who threw 2 1/3 innings and allowed just one hit against Oregon State in the NCAA Corvallis Regional. Bustamante is with the Catalina Aztecs.
“You’re always going to be trying to improve yourself,” Boisvert said about playing in the Sun Belt College League this summer. “Even the things that you’re good at, you’re trying to get better at it. So honestly, just to improve myself as a player is why I’m here.”
Boisvert played in only 16 games with Scottsdale Community College in 2020 and batted .270 with four doubles, one home run and 10 RBIs. He also pitched in seven games, finishing 1-0 with three saves and a 0.00 ERA in six innings of work, striking out 10 and walking eight.
In 2021 at Seward County Community College, he appeared in 50 games and batted .363 with 11 doubles, one triple and 15 home runs with 62 RBIs. He pitched 15 2/3 innings in 12 games, including one start. He was 3-1 with a 7.47 ERA in 15 2/3 innings. He struck out 24 and walked nine.
Last summer with Corvallis, Boisvert pitched 7 1/3 innings in eight games and posted a 1.22 ERA with five saves to go with 16 strikeouts and seven walks. He batted .228 with four home runs and 19 RBIs.
His mound appearances were limited with Oregon State this season pitching 7 1/3 innings in 10 games allowing seven earned runs with seven strikeouts and five walks. One of those innings was at Hi Corbett Field on May 14 against Arizona, a game in which he did not allow run in the Beavers’ 5-2 loss.
He was in the midst of a six-game stretch (five innings) without allowing an earned run.
“It was very cool to get to play and do that at a place where I grew up playing,” said Boisvert, who played for Tom Belter and Gino Strebing at Empire. “I don’t think it was the best series that we had (losing two of three games). But I had the opportunity to throw and get better as a pitcher and player for my team.”
When he arrived at Kino Sports Complex on Wednesday, Boisvert went to the batting cages.
His hitting at Empire in 2019 (.375 batting average) and Seward County last spring can attest to his ability at the plate, but he also possesses a fastball that has been clocked at 97 mph (of which he uses with an effective slider).
His mindset is helping Canham at Oregon State as Canham sees fit, especially because of the stature of the Beavers’ program. Oregon State was the No. 3 overall seed of the NCAA tournament.
“It was very cool a opportunity and situation to play with Oregon State this year,” Boisvert said. “They have great coaches, great facilities and a great school. It was a lot of fun.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.