PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Lakewood BlueClaws picked up a 2-0 win on Sunday over the visiting Hagerstown Suns. The Phillies Single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League got seven shutout innings on the mound from left-hander Ranger Suarez and another big game at the plate from 1B/DH Darick Hall.
Hall knocked in both runs for the BlueClaws on a first-inning sacrifice fly and an eighth-inning RBI single. The performance improved Hall’s RBI total for the season to 60. Amazingly, 56 of those RBI have come since May 1st and that is the second highest total during that stretch in all of minor league baseball. He actually had the most before being passed for the time being Sunday night by a player in the Pacific Coast League.
“I feel good,” Hall told KYW Newsradio prior to Sunday’s game. “I kind of think that something that we started doing early in the season has just kind of panned out – just being consistent, being the same guy. I think that’s the most important (thing), especially over the course of a long season. Consistent approach, not veering away from what you’re trying to do. I think that’s really been something that’s helped me the most.”
For the season, the 21-year-old Hall is hitting .284 in 62 games with Lakewood with 14 home runs. That long ball total places him second in the South Atlantic League.
“I just try to hit the ball on a line and if they go out, they go out,” Hall says. “But that’s my goal is to hit a ball on a line. Every time.”
And it should be noted that the reason Hall only had 4 RBI in April isn’t because he got off to a slow start. He actually missed much of the month with an injury.
“I suffered a high-ankle sprain,” Hall says. “We were actually doing a drill before the game and the field was wet and my right foot kind of slipped and got caught on my spike and I went over it. I’ve never had an ankle sprain, I’ve rolled it a few times, but I couldn’t even walk for like a week really, I couldn’t put too much pressure on it. It wasn’t too bad, I went down to Florida (Clearwater) and got it back, hit a ton, took a ton of ground balls.”
The left-handed hitting Hall was selected by the Phillies in the 14th round of the 2016 draft out of Dallas Baptist University. He did well in his first taste of pro ball last year with short-season Williamsport, hitting nine home runs and knocking in 29 runs in 57 games while batting a healthy .282. He talks about the approach that has allowed him to have this success.
“Being a middle-of-the-lineup guy I try to be aggressive,” Hall says. “Because the last thing you want to do is put the pitcher in a position to put you away. So I always want to try to be on time with a fast ball. Because here, the pitchers, they have all of their pitches, but they really pitch off of the fastball. So if you’re not on time with the fastball, a lot of times they won’t even throw off-speed for a strike because they are trying to strike you out with it, or they throw one in the dirt. That’s something they preach to us, be on time with the fastball, adjust to off-speed and that’s what I try to do.”
Hall will look to stay hot on Monday night as the BlueClaws wrap up their series with Hagerstown.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleonkyw.