May 1, 2019

Building on Family’s Special Baseball Lineage, Boone Emerges as Star Shortstop For Princeton

NEXT GENERATION: Princeton University baseball player Jake Boone takes a big cut in recent action. Last Sunday, sophomore shortstop Boone went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI in a losing cause as Princeton fell 11-5 to Brown. Boone, who comes from a long line of Major League players including his father (Bret), uncle (Aaron), grandfather (Bob), and great grandfather (Ray), is now hitting .308 with a team-high 48 hits. While the Tigers went 2-1 against Brown last weekend, the defeat eliminated them from a shot at the Ivy League Playoff Series. Princeton, now 13-23 overall and 8-10 Ivy, has a three-game set against St. John’s next weekend with a doubleheader in Jamaica, N.Y. on May 4 and a single game in Princeton on May 5. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Jake Boone comes from an incredible baseball lineage as his father (Bret), uncle (Aaron), grandfather (Bob), and great grandfather (Ray) all enjoyed stellar Major League Baseball careers.

Upon graduating from Torrey Pines High in San Diego, Calif., in 2107, Boone had the chance to join the family business, getting selected in the 38th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft by the Washington Nationals.

But Boone opted instead to attend Princeton University and join its baseball program.

“I talked to my family, my dad, my uncle; it is great to get taken out of high school but being able to come here, it is very hard to pass up an opportunity like this with the academics,” said Boone.

“We figured it was the best option. The thing I kept hearing from my family over and over was if you are good enough, no matter what you do, they find you.”

After struggling as a freshman by hitting .169, shortstop Boone is proving to be a very good player for Princeton this spring, hitting .308 so far this season with a team-high 48 hits.

“It comes with the maturity, getting used to the college level,” said the 5’11, 175-pound Boone, whose goal is to ultimately play pro ball.

“I fell into the trap last year of trying to do too much, coming out of myself. I have really settled in and I feel a lot more comfortable.”

Last weekend, Boone showed his comfort level, going 4-of-12 with a run and two RBIs as the Tigers went 2-1 against visiting Brown in a three-game set.

“I am just trying to get it started early, see the ball, and try to not do too much,” said Boone. “I try to not overthink anything and just hit the ball hard.”

Princeton took a hard loss on Sunday, squandering a 5-2 seventh inning lead on the way to losing 11-5 and getting eliminated from a shot at the Ivy League Playoff Series, dropping to 13-23 overall and 8-10 Ivy.

“We were really hoping for a big sweep here,” lamented Boone, who went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI in the defeat.

“Losing the last few innings is definitely tough. I am proud of the way we fought through the weekend. It was a good weekend for us and a good series win at the very least.”

With the Tigers having gone 7-2 in their last nine games, including taking two of three at Cornell from April 20-21, Boone is looking for the squad to fight to the finish as it wraps up the spring with a three-game series against St. John’s this weekend and a three-game set at Yale from May 11-12.

“We have started to put everything together in the last couple of weeks and I think that is showing in the way we are playing,” said Boone.

“Our No. 1 focus is to keep doing what we have been doing these last couple of weeks and end on a high note. We want to go out strong and win every game that we can. We don’t want to fold or anything like that.”