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Sunday, September 10, 2006


Hochevar Takes Wichita to the Championship

It was his first Wichita start, and it was a game that could have sent the team to the championship series. Luke Hochevar had never faced this level of talent before. He was still being worked in after spending most of the year off the mound. He hadn't picked up a win so far in his professional career. Fans wanted to see what the first overall pick, Kansas City's $5 million draft pick, was capable of. The pressure was on in so many different ways and Luke Hochevar came through big.

The pressure was on for Luke, but he didn't care. In a report filed for MLB.com, he was reported as saying "I wasn't nervous, more amped than anything. I was ready to get after it and attack hitters." He also added, "I feel like I executed pitches better than at any time in the Minors. Early on, I had very good command. Velocity-wise, I was amped, so the ball was coming out a little better." It sounded like he brought the same mentality to Wichita that he was known for in Tennessee. He took the first games seriously even though he wasn't playing. He used the time to measure up the other batters and figure his strategy for his own start.

Hochevar did pitch a good game, going 5.1 innings with 2 runs and 7 strikeouts. He had a no-hitter through those first five innings but struggled a little in the sixth as he gave up those two runs. However, the Wranglers had built up a comfortable 7-run lead before then so it wasn't a problem. Things got close when Neal Musser and Gabe DeHoyos gave up four runs but the Wranglers held on the the win.

Look for Luke to get one more start as the Wichita Wranglers try to win the Texas League Championship. If the series goes to game 5, he might be valuable in a relief role after his start, but I wouldn't expect the team to push him too hard.

Here's his line:
5.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 7 Ks, for the Win

Hey Jim,

I'm a big baseball fan living in Slovenia, Europe. I've just recently found out about Luke Hochevar and I'd like to ask you a question. In my country we have a very similar (and frequent) last name which is written Hocevar. So I'm wondering could it be that Luke's ancestors came from Slovenia to the US? If you can come up with any kind of info it would really be great. Thx in advance for the help.

Best regards,
Yea he is of Slovenian descent..I was also wondering the same thing because I'm of Slovenian descent and he is listed as a Slovene American on every list I checked out, and I believe I read something about his grandparents, about how they where immigrants from Slovenia, so..
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