Borchering slugs his way out of slump

D-backs prospect flirts with cycle after dismal start to season

Bobby Borchering hit 17 homers for South Bend in 2010. (Michael O'Day/

By Ashley Marshall / Special to | April 17, 2011 6:44 PM

Mired in a season-opening 3-for-34 slump, former first-round Draft pick Bobby Borchering went 4-for-5 and missed the cycle by a triple on Sunday.

The D-backs third base prospect, batting just .088 through nine games, homered, reached base five times and plated three runs in the Visalia Rawhide's 17-7 rout of the Stockton Ports.

The breakout performance more than doubled Borchering's average to .179.

"I was doing the same things tonight that I have done all year, but it just worked out tonight," he said. "That is just part of baseball. You have to deal with it and know that you will get the bloops later."

Borchering drew a two-out walk in the first inning and struck out in the second. In the fourth, he ripped a two-run double -- just his second extra-base hit of the year -- and scored on Justin Hilt's single.

Borchering singled and scored in the fifth, then gave the Rawhide a 16-7 lead in the seventh when he slugged reliever Connor Hoehn's 1-1 fastball over the center-field fence.

The 20-year-old switch-hitter, who said he didn't realize he needed a triple for the cycle, blooped a single in the ninth for the second four-hit game of his three-year career.

"It's behind me," Borchering said of the slump. "It would have been behind me even if I had another rough game. I think I was trying to do too much. I was just getting frustrated with lineouts and I was being too hard on myself. I wanted to keep it simple, think about my at-bats one at a time. I have to focus on the positives."

Sunday marked the third time the Florida native had flirted with the cycle. He fell a homer short last Aug. 3 for Class A South Bend and was a triple shy the following day.

"I just want to continue working hard, come to the park with a good attitude and be hungry for hits," Borchering added. "When it comes down to it, I have to focus on the positives and help the team win."

In his first full pro season last year, he batted .270 with 15 homers and 74 RBIs in 135 Midwest League games. Borchering appeared in 22 games for short-season Missoula in 2009 and hit .241 with two homers and 11 RBIs.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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