Doug Rickert has been around baseball most of his life and Madison’s
veteran coach has never seen anything like it. It was so unusual, in fact, the Ohio High School Athletic Association
doesn’t even keep track of it in its list of state records. One day. Two games. Three grand slams.
MADISON TOWNSHIP – Doug Rickert has been around baseball most of his life and Madison’s veteran coach has never seen anything like it.
It was so unusual, in fact, the Ohio High School Athletic Association doesn’t even keep track of it in its list of state records.
One day. Two games. Three grand slams.
“It’s probably the best day of baseball I’ve ever seen,” Rickert said, “and I’ve seen a lot of baseball.”
Madison catcher Jake Townley used the baseball field at Shelby High School as his personal launching pad last Saturday. He had four hits, including his first grand slam of the day, in a 28-3 win over Marion Pleasant.
The junior slugger was just getting warm. In Madison’s 23-2 win over Shelby, Townley swatted two more grand slams.
He had 14 RBIs on the day.
“That was probably one of the better days of my baseball career,” Townley said. “I never dreamed of anything like that. I never thought it would be possible.”
Townley is hardly a one-day wonder. He leads Madison with a .535 batting average. His six home runs rank second in north central Ohio behind Highland’s Garrett Ulrey and he’s third in the area with 31 runs batted in – not bad for a No. 7 hitter.
“With Jake hitting seventh, we are getting great production out of the bottom of our lineup,” Rickert said. “He’s a strong kid and he has been locked in all season.”
Hitting a second or third grand slam never entered Townley’s mind Saturday afternoon.
“I was just hoping I could get another hit and help my team win,” he said.
So what’s the secret to his power surge?
“I’m just seeing the ball a lot better now,” said Townley, who had two doubles and drove in two runs in Madison’s 11-9 loss to Wooster on Tuesday. “I’m getting my pitch is what I’m doing.”
Townley’s career day has made him a celebrity of sorts. He can’t walk down the hallway without someone congratulating him.
“They’ve been saying I’m their hero and they never heard of that happening before,” he said. “I haven’t either.”
The Rams are 11-4 overall and 5-3 in the Ohio Cardinal Conference after Wednesday’s 13-3 loss at Wooster. Madison trailed league-leading Clear Fork by three games with six to play.
“We’re not out of it,” Townley said. “We’ve got some work to do, but Wooster hasn’t played Clear Fork and we haven’t played Clear Fork.
“It’s going to take some work, but we can still get back into it.”