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Way homers thrice in same game for CSUSM

 

Last updated 4/3/2008 at Noon



Fallbrook High School graduate Austin Way became the first Cal State University San Marcos baseball player to hit three home runs in the same game.

Way also drove in eight runs in the Cougars’ 24-3 victory March 22 over Principia at San Marcos. The three home runs that day also gave him five over two consecutive games, as he hit two homers March 21 at home against Azusa Pacific, and seven over a span of four consecutive games.

“He’s actually done a great job offensively for us the last two years. He’s really bought into what we’re doing and become a real fine hitter,” said Cal State San Marcos head coach Dennis Pugh.

The three home runs – and the seven over the four-game stretch – gave Way 12 homers for the season. “He’s pretty much been our leading home run guy,” Pugh said.

Principia starter Kyle Johnson struck out Way in the first inning with two runners on base and nobody out. Way faced Johnson in the second inning with two runners on and nobody out, and Way redeemed himself with a three-run homer to right field.

Way faced reliever Eric Lindstrom in the third inning and hit a solo home run to right field. In the fourth inning he hit a grand slam to right field off Justin Belote with one out.

Cal State San Marcos initiated intercollegiate baseball last year, so the three home runs in a game as well as the five homers over two consecutive games are both school records.

“We weren’t exactly playing the New York Yankees, but still hitting home runs isn’t that easy,” said Pugh.

Principia might not be compared with the Yankees, but Azusa Pacific was ranked second in the National Intercollegiate Athletic Association when Way hit his two homers.

Cal State San Marcos had previously played a doubleheader at home March 18 against The Master’s College; Way homered in each of those games.

Way concluded the Principia game by grounding to the first baseman to lead off the seventh inning and flying out to center field with two runners on and nobody out in the eighth inning.

Way was the designated hitter against Principia and was not involved in the field during that game.

Way’s three hits against Principia extended his hitting streak to eight games, seven of which also saw Way drive in at least one run. During those eight games Way accumulated 14 hits, 12 runs scored, 18 runs batted in, and eight home runs.

The Principia game was the Cougars’ 26th of the season. Way participated in 25 of those games, and his Principia statistics brought his season totals to 26 runs batted in and 28 runs scored along with the 12 home runs. His .323 batting average after the Principia game was derived from 31 hits in 96 at-bats.

“Austin will be hard to replace next year,” Pugh said of the senior. “He’s been a real good positive thing for our guys.”

 

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