Mitch Hilligoss didn’t have to wait until his final at-bat to extend his hitting streak to a South Atlantic League record 36 games, but he did wait long enough to provide some drama for the Charleston fans.
Hilligoss laid down a bunt down the third base line for a single in the seventh for his only hit in five at-bats. That was enough to give him the South Atlantic record all by himself. His eighth-inning double on Tuesday had tied Scott Seabol’s mark set in 1999.
The third baseman also stole his seventh base of the season. With a hit against Columbus at home on Thursday Hilligoss’ would equal Joey Cora’s 37-game hitting streak for the longest mark of the past 20 years. The minor league record is Joe Wilhoit’s 69-game streak set with Wichita in 1919.
Hilligoss was the Yankees’ sixth-round pick out of Purdue in 2006. While he hasn’t hit for much power, he does have some pedigree as a hitter. He was the Big 10’s batting leader in 2005 and a scout told John Manuel before last year’s draft that Hilligoss was one of the best college bats he’d ever seen. Last year he made Baseball America’s short-season Postseason All-Star Team and was named the 17th best prospect in the New York-Penn League.