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Doubling his cycle-hitting fun PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Friday, 04 August 2017 16:32

Ozaukee High alumnus accomplishes rare baseball feat twice in three days playing in summer collegiate league

Baseball has delivered countless unique statistics the past couple of centuries, and Owen Miller of the Lakeshore Chinooks has added to the rarity.
On July 3, the graduate of Ozaukee High School in Fredonia hit for the cycle — collecting a single, double, triple and home run in one game — a feat more rare than a no-hitter.
To prove it was no fluke, Miller hit for the cycle again two games later on July 5. After not hitting for the cycle his entire life, he sandwiched America’s birthday in between doing it twice in a summer collegiate league.
OWEN MILLER Chinooks s1072417103 4C“It was cool. For about two days, my phone was blowing up pretty good,” Miller said.
In his final at-bat in both games, he needed the most difficult hit, the triple.
The second of the “two special moments” came at home with family and friends in the Kapco Park stands at the Northwoods League game in Mequon.
“Just looking at everybody on their feet in the stands is something I’ll never forget,” Miller said.
Miller provided the crowd plenty of suspense in accomplishing the rarity the second time, though it hadn’t crossed his mind until he clocked a home run to left field.
“I didn’t really think much about it in the second game. Then I realized after I hit the home run, I only need a triple,” he said.
Miller came up in the eighth inning of a 21-6 beatdown of the Rockford Rivets with that elusive three-bagger to go.
He went to full count, hit a foul ball and then walked in a seven-pitch at-bat.
Miller figured the opportunity was lost.

But the Chinooks’ bats were on fire. The team batted around in the inning, scoring 10 runs in all, and up came Miller for a second time.
He didn’t take enough pitches to walk this time.
“The first pitch I hit it into the right-center gap. Once I saw it roll past the center fielder, I thought I had a good chance to make it,” he said.
Make it he did. Miller hit the ball exactly where he wanted to. Kapco Park, he said, is a triples ballpark.
“I was trying to hit it in the right-center gap,” Miller said.
“Lots of congrats” from teammates followed.
Miller went 5-for-5 in the game with five RBI, four runs scored and the one walk.
Before the pivotal eighth inning, Miller’s at-bats went like this: first inning, 2-2 count, fouled off two pitches before doubling to center field; third inning, single to third on a 1-1 count; fifth inning, single to left field on a 1-1 count; seventh inning, two-run home run to left field on 1-2 count.
In the July 3 contest on the road, a 16-8 thrashing of the Kalamazoo Growlers, Miller came up with two outs in the ninth inning needed a triple.
He clocked the first pitch to center.
“I knew I just needed a triple, and as soon as I saw it go over the center fielder’s head, I knew I had a chance,” he said.
Miller went 5-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored.
His at-bats leading up to the dramatic ninth inning included: second inning, first-pitch single; third inning, two-run homer on 2-0 count; fifth inning, single to left field on 0-1 count; sixth inning, double on 1-1 count; and seventh inning, first-pitch RBI sacrifice fly to center.
Miller played shortstop in both games.
The 6-foot, 1-inch, 180-pound infielder is hitting .365 for the Chinooks, with 19 hits in 52 at-bats in 13 games. He has 10 RBI, 13 runs scored and six walks.
Miller played with the Chinooks last season and this year spent two weeks on a temporary contract with the Harwich Mariners in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League out east.
Miller, a junior, plays baseball for Illinois State. He heads back to school the in the middle of August to continue work on his business administration degree.
The Chinooks’ season still has 11 games left. Teammates have informed Miller there’s time for the hat trick.
“Some guys have joked around,” he said.
The Chinooks next host Kenosha at home at 6:35 p.m. Thursday. As of Monday, they were 31-29 and in fifth place in the South Division of the Northwoods League.

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