NILES - Bosco. It's a chocolate syrup, brand of cheese sticks, George Costanza's ATM password and the most recent professional baseball player to hit for the cycle.
State College Spikes center-fielder Jimmy Bosco reached every base in Thursday's 6-1 win over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers at Eastwood Field.
He also accomplished the feat as a 14-year old on a Little League field in Granite Bay, Calif.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
State College’s Jimmy Bosco heads to the dugout after scoring a run against the Scrappers.
"Ironically," Bosco said. "I think the home run was an inside-the-park grand slam. The fence was pretty far out there."
On Cole Sulser's first pitch, Bosco laced a triple down the right field line. In the third inning, he belted a home run over the center field wall and reached on a single in the fifth inning after Josh McAdams' bad route and failed diving attempt. He saw just five pitches in those first three at-bats.
"You got to give credit to our hitting instructor (Ramon Ortiz)," Bosco said. "He's constantly preaching to be aggressive at the plate. That's the approach we need to have at this level."
FAMILY AFFAIR: Jimmy Bosco is one of four children, so it was important that he was surrounded by family when he received a call that he was drafted by St. Louis.
"That was important to me," he said. "To be with my family through the whole process made it that much more special."
NICE WEATHER, NICE CROWD: After Tuesday's rain-shortened contest, 2,081 were in attendance at Eastwood Field on Wednesday. So far, 20,720 fans have seen the Scrappers in 2013 for an average of 2,960 per game.
POPULAR PROMOTION: Today's 7:05 game with State College marks the first Buck Night of the season. Featuring dollar hot dogs, drinks and general admission tickets, it's also Duck Dynasty Night. There are six other Buck Nights this season.
LINDOR HONORED: Former Scrapper and 2011 first-round draft pick, Francisco Lindor, was named to the MLB Futures Game to be held on July 11 at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. Lindor, 19, is batting .307 at Class-A Advanced Carolina.
In the sixth inning, Bosco flied out to McAdams. His final chance to complete the cycle came in the eight inning and he delivered on a 2-1 pitch with a fly ball to the left-center field gap for a stand-up double. Bosco slowed up coming around first and arrived slowly on the base.
"Marmie (manager Oliver Marmol) at third base told me to hold," Bosco said. "That was basically the consensus to make sure that it happened."
The Spikes (6-3) led 6-1 after Bosco's hit and second RBI.
"To put it this way, if it was important and we hadn't been up by five or six runs, I'm pretty sure that Marmie at third would've sent me," he said. "That's how we play the game. I wouldn't have had a single problem with that.
"It's a tribute to how well we're coached."
Bosco began his collegiate baseball career at California Berkeley making 33 starts, hitting .321 with five home runs. He transferred to Arkansas in 2011 before finishing up at Menlo College, an NAIA school, in Atherton, Calif.
His junior season ended in early May and he was a 13th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in early June. After eight professional games, the 5-foot-9, 170-pounder is leading State College with a .429 batting average with two home runs, six RBIs and 29 total bases.
"He's a tough-looking kid it looks like," said Mahoning Valley manager Ted Kubiak. "He had great at-bats. I was really watching in his last at-bat about where he holds his bat. He's a pretty strong little guy."
The Spikes out-hit the Scrappers (4-6), 13-4. Bosco was on-pace to total more hits than the entire team until Paul Hendrix's single in the third-to-last at-bat in the ninth inning. Robel Garcia hit his first home run in the third, but Mahoning Valley was retired in order in six different innings.
"We went down very weakly," Kubiak said.
Spikes starter Ben O'Shea earned his second win by going six innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six Scrappers. Entering the fifth inning, 40 of his 50 pitches were strikes.
"We're a great team on both sides of the ball," Bosco said. "I feel very lucky to be a part of a team like that. It's impressive to watch on a daily basis."
The Spikes scored in the first, third, fourth and eighth innings.
Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angles is the only major leaguer to hit for the cycle, thus far, in the 2013 season. The reigning American League Rookie of the Year did so on May 21 against the Seattle Mariners. New York Yankees designated hitter Travis Hafner hit for the cycle as a Cleveland Indian on August 14, 2003 against the Minnesota Twins.