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Unlikeliest Baseball Player Hits Record with Help from Teammates

For more than a century of Major League Baseball, only 16 men have homered four times in one game. The last was Josh Hamilton, five years ago. Most of the members of this elite group were brawny, true power hitters. Twelve of the 16 hit at least 200 home runs in their careers. Nine of them hit 300 or more home runs.

Then along came Scooter Gennett—all 5-foot-10, 185 pounds and his 38 career home runs. On an ordinary Tuesday night (June 6, 2017) in Cincinnati, Gennett, a vagabond player who had bounced from team to team and from the majors to the minors, a spotty hitter who had gone on an 0 for 19 slump, hit four home runs (including a grand slam) and had a career-high 10 RBI against the Cardinals.

In the first inning, he singled to left field against Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright. In the third, he hit a grand slam to right field off Wainwright. In the fourth, he hit a two-run home run to center field, again off Wainwright. In the sixth, he homered to left, just to the fair side of the foul pole, against reliever John Gant. That was three homers.

"My teammates were awesome the whole time," Gennett told reporters in Cincinnati, with a laugh, "letting me know exactly what I needed to do and how many home runs I had at each point." In the eighth, against reliever John Brebbia, with two strikes against him, Gennett swung again at a high fastball. Gennett later said, "I know that if I try to hit a home run it's not going to happen. So I just tried to relax and put a good swing on the ball and it ended up working out."

One game. Five hits. 17 total bases. 10 RBIs.

"That's baseball, man," he said. "It's a crazy game. That's why you never give up. You always try to get better, make adjustments, and I did just that. Our hitting coach, Don [Long], he's worked with me lately to kind of fine tune some things. And I think we did just that tonight."

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Community; Encouragement; Friends—this isn't just a story about individual achievement; it's primarily a story about all the people—teammates, coaches, etc.—who encouraged and coached Gennett. (2) Perseverance, Endurance. (3) Surprises, Blessings—you just never know how blessings may break into your life.

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