After going 1-for-9 from the plate over the course of two games,
most hitters grow frustrated. They become tentative, second-guess
themselves and lose confidence in their abilities. But not Kyle
Bohm.

Michigan Baseball
Michigan junior first baseman Kyle Bohm has slugged, caught and studied his way into Wolverine tradition and history. (TONY DING/Daily)

Even though he’s currently Michigan’s leading hitter
with a .400 batting average, Bohm entered the third game of the
Wolverines’ four-game weekend set at Iowa with a clear head
and a small slump to break out of. Low-and-behold, in his first
at-bat in the top of the first inning, the junior first baseman
stroked a single to centerfield. It was the start of a 3-for-3
performance in Michigan’s 4-0 win over the Hawkeyes.

“I felt more comfortable (after the hit),” Bohm
said. “It felt good. I struggled the first two games. My
timing was off a little bit. I talked to coach and he said to stay
aggressive. Sometimes you get a little passive and question
yourself, ‘Am I doing something wrong?’ I need to stick
to the plan and get fastballs over the plate and stay aggressive. I
can’t over-analyze and get too worried about it.”

Bohm followed his strong performance on Saturday with a 2-for-3
showing yesterday. He scored the winning run in the ninth inning of
the 2-1 Michigan victory.

“I was seeing (the ball) well,” Bohm said at the
conclusion of the series. “I think my confidence is back to
normal.”

The baseball diamond is not the only place where Bohm challenges
himself. This pre-med student — who attended Auburn before
transferring to Michigan at the beginning of the year — is
also talented and conscientious in the classroom, according to
coach Rich Maloney.

“Classes are a little tougher,” Bohm said.
“Doing some pre-med stuff is tough, but I take care of
business. I really don’t sit around a whole lot and watch TV.
I spend a lot of my time at the library. You have to have a plan of
what you’re going to do for the day.”

Maloney admires Bohm’s efforts both on and off the playing
field.

“He’s a great student — he’s going to
end up being a doctor,” Maloney said. “He’s got
the whole package. So the adjustment (from Auburn) is really no big
deal because he’s a very disciplined young man.”

Bohm brings those cerebral talents to each plate appearance. His
selectivity at the plate has helped him take 10 walks, ranking him
third on the team in that category.

“You know that you’re not going to get the best
pitches to hit in the middle of the lineup,” Bohm said.
“It’s important that you be selective. If (the pitcher)
doesn’t throw it to you, you can’t expand the (strike)
zone and help him out.”

Bohm has been slow to take a vocal lead in the clubhouse, but
Maloney views his first baseman’s reluctance to take charge
as a natural transition, given Bohm’s ongoing acclimation to
his new surroundings.

“I think when you’re in your first year, it’s
hard to (step up and be a leader),” Maloney said. “As
he plays more here, he will probably do more of that. I think he
just lets his bat and glove do the talking. Everybody respects him
very much.”

Maloney brings attention to another stellar facet of
Bohm’s game — of 244 put-out attempts this season, he
has converted 243, just a single error.

But the team is always first for Bohm. Before the
weekend’s action, he expressed the importance of winning in
Iowa City.

“If we can get off to a good start on the road, it will
really help us achieve the team goal of winning the Big Ten
Championship,” Bohm said.

With two shutout wins on Saturday and a third triumph yesterday,
Michigan is looking stronger than it has in recent years. Maloney
recognizes Bohm’s crucial role in the progress of this
improving squad.

“He’s a special hitter and we’re real
fortunate to have him in our lineup,” Maloney said. “I
know I wouldn’t want to be pitching to him, I’ll tell
you that.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *