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“I have never seen this happen,” says Dave. “As it was happening, other coaches were coming over to me. My 16-year old son pointed it out at one point that he was only a solo home run away from the cycle. Then he hit that in his last at-bat.”
Michael hit a two run home run in his first at bat, then a three run home run in his second at bat. His third at bat was an out, the next time up, he hit a grand slam, and in his last at-bat of the game, he hit the solo shot. The home runs were off several pitchers , so it had been necessary for Michael to adjust accordingly. Michael, who hit his first home run last season at age 11, said he wasn’t necessarily trying to hit home runs.
“I was just trying to make contact with the ball because if you try for a home run, most of the time you’re not going to hit one, “explains Michael.
Michael also said that he didn’t quite realize what was happening while it was happening, until the buzz reached the dugout and his teammates started talking to him about it.
“At first I didn’t realize how big a deal it was but after I was really excited. I didn’t really know what to do, I couldn’t believe it. I was really happy,” remarks Michael.
“It was just one after another after another,’ says Michael’s mom, Tami. “We just want him to get on base. He’s had two in one game before and we were thinking ‘wow, he did it again’. Then he had a third and a fourth. He was so excited.”
Michael has been playing baseball since he was in Kindergarten and plays on several other teams besides Mountaintop Area Little League.. He was drafted to the boys majors division his first year of eligibility and is a very good player defensively as well, according to Dave. His mom says he plays other sports, but baseball is above all else for him.
“He just loves baseball. He plays on every team he can get on practically,” says Tami.
Those other teams will include trying out for the middle school baseball team when he enters 7th grade this coming school year. Michael says he is “nervous” about making the team but is looking forward to playing. He said his teammates said that what he did on May 20 was “amazing”.
“He was in the dugout and we were just so excited; I think the adrenaline was kicking in,” explains Tami. “I didn’t even realize what a big deal that four home runs in one game was, and when we came home and looked it up, there are not that many players, even in major league baseball let alone little league, that have done it. He was so proud, and we are proud of him too.”
Dave agrees with Michael’s teammates and has notified Little League International and reached out to Sports Illustrated. While LLI has said it was most assuredly a noteworthy accomplishment, they tend to not recognize individual accomplishments in lieu of team based ones. Sports Illustrated has forwarded the news of the Michael’s accomplishment to their “Faces in the Crowd” feature.
Michael ended the season with a total of 9 home runs in 24 games, one home run behind the 2014 season leader and did not strike out in any at-bats during the regular season. The home run record for Mountaintop Area Little League is held by Curt Yenchick who hit 16 home runs in 2009. The boys majors Yankees won the division championship with a record of 23-1. For Michael, it is still all about having fun.
“I like baseball because it doesn’t really matter if you are big or small, it’s for everyone. It can be fun no matter what,” says Michael.