When Miles Wagner hit a towering home run to end last Thursday’s 11-0 win over Fort Worth Arlington Heights and clinch third place in District 7-4A for the Granbury Pirates, he actually defied the advice of his coach.
“I told him to hit a triple and add to his record,” said Pirate coach Brad Hart with a grin.
And that’s what Wagner thought he had done at first, before he saw the ball sail over the 375-foot mark in center field.
“I rounded first and I was thinking triple myself, then it went over, and I just said okay,” said Wagner.
There’s a reason Wagner was thinking three bases. He holds the team record with eight this season, nearly half of the 18 the Pirates have hit as a team (also a record).
The Pirates have set or are chasing several records this season as they enter their Class 4A bidistrict series against Waco University this weekend.
In fact, he has nearly twice as many as the previous record of five.
“After one of my first games I hit two and was thinking maybe I can get this record,” said Wagner.
Eight players on the Pirates have at least one triple this season, and that’s by design, said Hart.
“We’ve got some guys who can run well,” said Hart. “We’re hitting to our speed, and they can almost all run fast enough to leg out a triple in the gap.”
Hart also said the Pirates’ aggressive style of running the bases contributes greatly to the triples accumulation.
“Our offensive philosophy is we want to get a guy at third with one out or less as often as possible because so many things can happen,” said Hart. “You can squeeze him, he can score on a fly ball, a passed ball, a balk, and of course on a base hit.
“The number of options increase so much at third.”
Tyler Titus has been hit by a pitch nine times (Landon Gray has seven bonks), and the team has 35 in all. Eleven Pirates have been hit by a pitch at least once this season.
Before this season, there was no official Pirate record for this feat.
“I started my first tournament being hit three times, so I thought why not see how many of these I can get,” said Titus.