Brody Burch remembers everything about the at-bat: Against Jerome earlier in the week. He had a 1-2 count. He saw a fastball. So he put a swing on it, watched it fly, then fly some more. No way this is gone, he thought to himself.

“But I guess I squared it up,” Burch said.

Sure enough, Burch deposited the pitch over the wall for a three-run home run, helping Pocatello down Minico for its fifth straight win. The Thunder turned around and topped Marsh Valley Friday evening, 12-6, completing their sixth straight win and vaulting themselves into a 10-6 overall record. Even better for the Thunder, they’ve been running off wins by scores like 11-1 and 10-2, blowouts that reinforce what everyone in the navy and red laundry feels: After a 5-6 start, this turnaround is real, and it’s happening at the right time.

For Burch, the home run helped in that department, but it’s an outlier in a theme that’s keyed Poky’s win streak. The Thunder, he says, have gotten more aggressive early in counts. Burch may have delivered a bomb with two strikes, but more often, players aren’t waiting to find themselves in that position. They’re jumping on pitches that look good, even — and especially — before they get deep in at-bats.

Just look at the numbers: On Friday, six different Pocatello players recorded hits, including a three-knock outing from Martin Serrano. In that win over Jerome, the Thunder plated seven runs in the sixth inning, cruising to a 10-2 victory. Even before that, in a win over Hillcrest, JD Gunderson and Serrano registered multi-hit showings.

“We wanna be a lot more aggressive than that,” Pocatello coach Vinnie Benavidez said. “When you put pressure on a defense, good things are gonna happen. Just can’t strike out. You gotta make people make plays, and when we do that, we’re a pretty good team.”

Thing is, Benavidez isn’t entirely shocked by this development. Earlier in the season, he says, the Thunder were barreling up balls, sending them on line drives hard enough to sting outfielders’ gloves. Except that’s where they kept ending up. “Lately they’re not,” Benavidez said. “You just gotta keep doing what you’re doing.”

Pocatello’s pitching staff has turned things around a little differently. In the first few weeks of the season, Thunder hurlers issued far too many walks. In a win over Bonneville, Poky handed out seven free passes. Three days later, in a loss to Twin Falls, that number hit six. In the Thunder’s 10 wins this season, they’ve averaged four walks per game. In six losses, they’ve averaged five bases on balls.

That may not seem like a strong correlation — in some games, the Thunder have overcome a rash of walks with an offensive onslaught — but the message is clear enough: Pocatello gives itself a far better chance to win when its pitchers limit walks and let its fielders make plays.

That showed up in spades on Thursday, in Pocatello’s win over Jerome. In that game, senior Hunter Killian pitched the following game: Complete game, two runs (one earned) on four hits, nine strikeouts and zero walks. He threw 62 of his 85 pitches for strikes, controlling the zone and forcing the Tigers to put the ball in play, not giving them first base for free. “He threw a great game,” Burch said.

Right now, Poky’s pitching rotation includes Killian, Burch and Maddox Moore. In Friday’s game, Moore started and tossed four innings of four-run (three earned) baseball. Burch finished things off with 2 1/3 innings, fanning two and yielding just two hits.

“When they throw strikes, we’re good,” Benavidez said. “Our biggest problem is if we’re walking people. Again, they’re not right where they need to be yet, but they’re doing a great job. Hunter was phenomenal.”

In the Halliwell Park office after Pocatello’s win over Marsh Valley, that’s something Benavidez kept bringing up: We’re not where we need to be yet. The Thunder boast an encouraging combination of youth and experience, which Benavidez said put pressure on the team headed into this season. Poky went to state last year with much the same team. Can the club get back there again?

That question remains unanswered, but for the Thunder, the good news is they don’t feel pressure to answer it — not yet at least. The other part of this turnaround has involved players taking a deep breath, exhaling, realizing things are going to be OK. That doesn’t guarantee Pocatello a trip to state, but it sure helps the team feel confident in its chances.

“I’m probably tough to play for. My expectations for this group are really high,” Benavidez said. “We’re getting closer, but at the end of the day, you wanna get a win, and we did — against a good team, too.”

Greg Woods is a sports reporter at the Idaho State Journal. Follow him on Twitter at GregWWoods.