The Mud Hens' Jeff Larish used a simple batting mantra to collect four hits last night.
Larish used the philosophy, “see ball, hit ball” to pound out three singles and a home run in the Hens' 7-5 loss to Charlotte at Fifth Third Field.
“I just cleared my head,” Larish said of his hitting approach. “I didn't think about what pitch was coming, or my mechanics or any of that stuff. It was really that simple.”
Larish singled and scored in the second, had an RBI single in the fourth, then rapped a single that loaded the bases in the fifth. With two outs in the seventh he hammered the first pitch he saw from Knights reliever Scott Elarton over the fence in left-center for his fourth homer of the year.
Larish entered the game hitless in his last seven at-bats and with a .211 batting average for the month of April. So the left-handed hitting first baseman did his best to set aside his recent struggles at the plate.
As a team, the Hens probably will do their best to forget about last night's game, which saw the Knights strike for four runs in the first inning off Toledo starter Enrique Gonzalez.
A double by Jordan Danks brought home run one, and Stefan Gartrell hammered a three-run homer off the bricks supporting the left-field scoreboard for the others.
The Hens got one run back in the second on an RBI groundout by Danny Worth, but Charlotte countered with a two-run homer by C.J. Retherford off Gonzalez in the fourth.
“Gonzo just wasn't sharp,” Toledo manager Larry Parrish said of his starter. “He wasn't commanding the ball at all. He was up in the strike zone, and a couple of balls that were hit hard were hanging breaking balls.”