It was a rough first inning for the Quad Cities River Bandits’, 6’6”, 215 pound, right-handed starter Akeem “the Dream” Bostick (1-1, 1.26 ERA.) After coughing up a leadoff single to Kane County centerfielder Colin Ray and then surrendering a two-run homer to the next batter, second baseman Cody Regis, the first place Bandits found themselves quickly in the hole, down 2-0. Bostick then allowed a one-out single to third baseman Joe Munoz before getting designated hitter Ryan Hutchison to hit into a pitcher’s best friend, an inning-ending ground-ball double play.
“The Dream” Bostick was having a nightmare, down 2-0, in the bottom of the first. He had given up two runs on three hits already with a runner on first and a batter at the plate, wanting to add to the damage. The Cougars were going to run the highly touted, second round draft pick from the game in the first inning. If one were Bostick, perhaps one could understand the coach throwing in towel, wanting to just give up, take the baseball and go home and come back play another day.
Throwing in the towel, giving up and accepting defeat are not character traits you will find in Akeem Bostick. When it looked like the game could be over before the River Bandits even got to bat, Bostick was on the mound, his fingers gripped on the ball, staring into home plate, checking the sign from his catcher. Bostick was just getting started.
If you like offense and you were standing in line at the concession stand in the top of the first inning for more than five minutes, you missed it. Bostick, undeterred by Kane County’s instant offense, kept himself poised and focused as he went on to pitch five complete innings. The only runs and hits, coming in the first inning. Bostick would not walk anyone on his way to striking out seven batters to match a career high.
The Bandits were never able to muster any offense to pull Bostick out of the fire. After he got the double play to end the first, that began a string of 13 batters Bostick retired in order before calling it a night.
It won’t show up in the box score, but last night Akeem “the Dream” Bostick had the right stuff. The Texas Rangers 2013 second round draft pick out of West Florence, South Carolina, who was traded to the Astros for catcher Carlos Corporan, is going to make it to the Majors; because for Bostick “failure is not an option.”