It’s rare enough for one player to hit for the cycle, but on Tuesday two different players on opposite coasts pulled it off. First was North Carolina sophomore outfielder Tim Fedroff, who got the hard part out of the way early with a first-inning triple in a 14-3 win against UNC Greensboro. He delivered an RBI double in the second inning, a two-run homer in the fourth and an infield single in the eighth.
Then, at Long Beach State, junior first baseman Shane Peterson hit for the cycle and drove in five in LBSU’s much-needed 10-0 win against Pepperdine. Peterson started his big day off with a two-run opposite-field homer in the first inning, then added an RBI triple to center in the third, an infield single in the fourth and a two-run double down the right-field line in the sixth.
The cycles overshadowed a big day for South Carolina junior first baseman Justin Smoak, who tied school records with three home runs and nine RBIs in a 14-4 win against South Carolina-Upstate. Smoak became the 12th Gamecock to hit three homers in a game, joining third baseman James Darnell, who already has done it twice this year.
Fedroff’s big day takes us to a quick mailbag:
I was wondering why I never hear about Tim Fedroff when you discuss the top college players? He’s been the best hitter for the No. 4 team in the country. He’s hit in the 1, 2 and now the No. 3 hole . . . Sounds like he’s worthy of being in the discussion for Player of the Year.
(Editor’s note: it has come to our attention that Lowenthal is Fedroff’s adviser.)
You’re right, Fedroff should be in that discussion. I wouldn’t put him quite on the same level as Ike Davis, Buster Posey and Gordon Beckham, but if the season ended today Fedroff would have a strong case for first-team All-America honors. He’s batting .412/.483/.480 with eight home runs–all team bests.
Fedroff is a draft-eligible sophomore, but it seems unlikely any team will draft him high enough to buy him out of his junior year at North Carolina. Scouts know it isn’t easy to get players to leave places like UNC early, and Fedroff’s professional profile is limited by his size–he’s just 5-foot-11. Still, he’s a hitting machine who makes consistent, hard contact from the left side, and he is a good runner with excellent baseball instincts. He’ll definitely get a chance in pro ball, but probably not until next year.
We’ve got one more UNC-related note to pass along today. Inspired by 5-year-old Reece Holbrook–the son of Tar Heels associate head coach Chad Holbrook–country music star Vince Gill will put on an April 30 benefit concert in Chapel Hill to raise money for kids with cancer. Reece is in remission for leukemia and has inspired UNC fans to donate more than $500,000 over the lat three years to the Pediatric Oncology Department at UNC’s Children’s Hospital. There’s also a sports memorabilia auction that will be held on May 4 and a golf tournament that will follow the next day. For more details, visit www.reeceholbrookgolfclassic.org.
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