Mitch Hilligoss had waited until his final at-bat on Tuesday and needed a bunt single to extend his streak on Wednesday. But on Thursday he made sure that no one had time to get nervous.
Hilligoss led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run on Thursday to extend his hitting streak to 37 games. The streak is a South Atlantic League record and equals Joey Cora for the longest minor league streak in the past 20 years. The minor league record is Joe Wilhoit’s 69-game streak in 1919 with Wichita.
Hilligoss didn’t stop with his first home run of the season. He doubled in the second inning and singled in the fourth and eighth, finishing only a triple short of the cycle. It was Hilligoss’ first four-hit game of the streak.
For more on the minor league record, see this excellent biography of Wilhoit. The former major leaguer had been traded by the New York Giants to the Pacific Coast League’s Seattle Rainiers but that wasn’t able to get his bat started. The trade down to the Western League did, as Wilhoit went on a tear like the minors have never seen since. He easily broke the previous minor league record of 45 games set by Oakland’s Jack Ness.