Boissiere battled Tommy John surgery, four-wheeler accident before becoming a Wildcat
Branden Boissiere bats during an Arizona baseball game at Hi Corbett Field.
Before coming to play for Arizona and racking up seven hits in UA's last three games, Branden Boissiere's baseball career was in jeopardy.
"I was scared if I was even going to be able to play baseball again," Boissiere said, recalling his difficult path to Tucson.
Boissiere, a Riverside, Calif., native, initially was not coming to Arizona after securing a scholarship to USC, but two freak injuries that occurred in high school opened the path to him becoming a Wildcat.
Now a college freshman, Boissiere played high school baseball for Woodcrest Christian in Riverside. He played in 25 games as a freshman, hitting .469 with 18 RBIs and 12 doubles. He followed that up with another big season in his sophomore year, hitting .427 with 32 RBIs over 33 games played.
Boissiere originally committed to play baseball for USC when he was 16 years old, but that was when things took an unexpected and alarming turn for Boissiere’s future as a Trojan.
Boissiere hurt his left (throwing) arm and had to undergo Tommy John Surgery, which forced him to miss his whole junior season at Woodcrest Christian. While he was recovering from surgery, he went on vacation with his family in Wyoming. His family was riding four-wheelers, and while he was in the passenger seat of one, an accident occurred.
“The four-wheeler flipped, and it landed on my ankle,” Boissiere explained. “It took off a bunch of skin off my ankle and broke both my bones, so that set me back even more with my Tommy John recovery.”
At this point, Boissiere’s future as a baseball player was doubtful.
"Luckily, I came back from it, got a skin graft on my ankle, and I’ve been working hard to get where I am today,” he said.
After missing his whole junior season of high school baseball, Boissiere was able to return partway through his senior season, continuing where he left off, hitting .371 at the plate with 14 RBIs over 23 games played.
Despite all this hard work Boissiere showed in recovering and getting back on the baseball diamond, he received notice from USC on vacation in the Bahamas – devoid of four-wheelers – that the school had rescinded his scholarship, another unexpected blow for him, considering he had just graduated from high school.
The day he got back from vacation, he called up his local travel team and was able to get in touch with UA head coach Jay Johnson.
“USC took the scholarship from me, said something was wrong with it. I called up coach Jay here at the U of A, and had him come watch me play a couple of games,” Boissiere said.
Johnson let him walk on the team this season, and Boissiere made the most of his second chance. He opened the season as a starter but struggled early on and was moved to a reserve role.
“I think a lot of it for me was my mental game,” Boissiere mentioned when asked what he did when he wasn’t playing much. “I worked on that a lot, talked to a lot of people. Also, I put a lot of work in with my swing and getting it really dialed in. I think a big thing for me at the beginning of the year was my timing at the plate and selecting good pitches to hit, but now I feel like I’m getting my foot down in time, hitting good pitches and results are showing.”
Johnson credited Boissiere for making his way back into the lineup after his early-season struggles.
“Branden Boissiere was somebody we thought would start,”Johnson said. “He got beat out, essentially, and now has worked his way back in there, and I think he had seven hits on the weekend.”
Another interesting thing about Boissiere is he can also pitch. In his sophomore year in high school, Boissiere threw 42.1 innings to the tune of a 7-1 win-loss record and a 0.33 ERA.
“Yes, I hope so,” Boissiere said when asked if he was going to pitch this year. “I’ve been throwing bullpens. We’ll just see when it comes together.”
As the Wildcats run into arguably their toughest stretch of the season going on the road to play both Oregon State and Stanford, they are going to need to continue to get good at-bats from Boissiere, as he hopes to solidify a spot in the starting lineup moving forward.
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