Ted Boeke's heroics on a spring night against archrival Arcadia High have seemingly already grown into a bit of local legend.
Following Boeke's two-out, seventh-inning three-run home run that propelled Crescenta Valley to a 5-4 win over Arcadia on May 10, Falcons Coach Phil Torres didn't hesitate to proclaim his senior slugger's excellence.
"We grinded it out until we got the right guy up and that's what the league MVP does, he hits a home run to win the league championship," Torres said after the game.
Boeke's home run lifted the Falcons to a share of their second straight Pacific League title and also likely played a huge role in getting him voted as the league most valuable player.
It turns out that his heroics also played out in front of the eyes of a couple of members of the Loyola Marymount University baseball coaching staff. And just more than three weeks later, Boeke verbally committed to play baseball at LMU on Monday.
"They were at the Arcadia game," Torres said, "which was a pretty good game to be at."
Boeke said he didn't talk to anybody from LMU that night, but most assuredly he let his skills do the talking. And everything about Loyola was enough to make it an easy decision for Boeke to become a Lion.
"LMU being the school that it is is very prestigious academically and athletically," said Boeke, adding that he will be a political science major and he was drawn to LMU as well by the school's ranking as one of the top law schools in the nation. "And the baseball team is competitive every year and that's what you want."
This past season, Loyola, under head coach Jason Gil, went 24-27 with a 12-12 mark in the West Coast Conference. Assistant Danny Ricabal was also a big part of Boeke's recruitment and has known Torres and Falcons assistant Dave Mendoza for sometime.
"He assured me they're so happy for Teddy to be a Lion," Torres said. "They'll take care of him, he'll get a good education."
As a junior, Boeke hit .400 (32 for 80) with 26 runs, 21 runs batted in and 15 extra-base hits. While Boeke certainly raised eyes and garnered plenty of recognition in terms of All-Area and Pacific League accolades, Torres believes it was after his junior season that Boeke truly began to emerge on an elite level.
"I think from this time last year to now is where he really made that big leap," Torres said. "He did a lot in the summer."
And he did a lot in the spring, leading the Falcons at the plate and also starring on the mound.
He led Falcons starters with a .378 batting average, along with 29 hits, 24 RBI and five home runs.
On the bump, he went 4-1 with an 0.98 earned-run average, throwing 35 2/3 innings and striking out 53.
However, Torres and Boeke both believe his future will play out in the infield, likely at third base.
"Probably the left side of the infield," Boeke said of where he believed he will play. "And I'm gonna have to compete for it, it's gonna be interesting."
Said Torres: "I assume they'll bulk up Teddy and move him over to third and make him a power-hitting third baseman."
Boeke, who has played shortstop and third base at CV, said going forward, he intends to do much of what he did last summer, playing with the Arcadia Astros summer travel ball squad. He's also looking to add "15 or 20 pounds" to his 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame.
While Boeke's ever looking forward at improving, Monday was still very much a day to look back and take in an accomplishment his been working toward since his days began as a Falcon.
"[I'm] very excited. I've worked all four years for this," said Boeke, 17, who graduated on Tuesday from Crescenta Valley. "It's LMU. I wouldn't have had it any other way."Copyright © 2015, CT Now