In a 10-0 laugher of a UNC (19-13) win, Bogucki, a freshman right-hander, was Tuesday night’s sterling jewel. He struck out 10 batters and allowed just one hit across seven frames, going from a near early exit to a near no-hitter, with his lone blemish coming on a one-out single to right field in the top of the 7th.
“I wasn’t really thinking about the no-hitter,” Bogucki said afterward.
His mind was occupied with another goal: Whenever a UNC pitcher tosses a shutout, he has the chance to pick up a bat and participate in batting practice.
“I want to hit BP the next time we go to practice,” he said, smiling, in the Boshamer Stadium lobby after the first win of his career.
Coming into Tuesday’s start, Bogucki’s work had been limited, his numbers unimpressive. He had pitched just 3.2 innings in five appearances, allowing seven hits, four walks and two runs.
But in his first chance as a starter — a role the Gilbertsville, Pa., native filled in high school — Bogucki flashed some of the tools that made him a highly touted recruit.
He worked through some early nervous energy, and once he found the strike zone, he rarely relinquished control of it. He pounded every quadrant of the zone with a fastball that sat in the high 80s and touched the low 90s, jamming right-handers inside with its late running movement and mixing in a hard-breaking slider to keep batters on their toes.
“We threw a lot of fastballs, and he just dotted them up,” Dunbar said. “Hitting his spots unbelievably.”
Dunbar said multiple times that he was proud of the freshman. He admitted that he had the potential no-hitter in the back of his mind.
“But I honestly don’t even think that was running through (Bogucki’s) head,” Dunbar said. “We preach to him, ‘This pitch. Just this pitch.’ And that’s exactly what he did.”
His lone mistake was a fastball that missed its low-and-away target, found the middle of the zone and dropped in the right-center-field gap off the bat of Stefan Jordan. Despite the disappointment, Bogucki again focused on the next pitch and struck out the following two batters.
Coach Mike Fox said that moment showed maturity in Bogucki — it exemplified Forbes’ live-in-the-moment mentality.
“I think that really helped me tonight,” Bogucki said. “The first batter I walked and thought I’d clear that from my mind and just go after the next hitter.”
Then he went after the next one.
And the next one
And the next one.