Suns' Schierholtz selected as SAL All-Star

June 12, 2004|By BOB PARASILITI

To Nate Schierholtz, his approach is as important as the end results.

"I try to keep the same approach every time I go to bat," the Hagerstown Suns third baseman said Thursday after hitting a game-winning home run. "I had to get a hit. You can't go up there trying to do different things in different situations."

Schierholtz's approach - and subsequent results - have been the one constant for the Suns in the 2004 season. A methodical approach has resulted in a spot on the South Atlantic League's Northern Division All-Star team as Hagerstown's lone representative.

Schierholtz was selected to the Northern team on Friday, just before the scheduled game with Lakewood was canceled by rain. The game will not be made up because it was the last time the two teams were scheduled to meet in the first half of the season.


The Northern Division stars will take on the Southern Division in the 45th annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game on June 29 at Joseph P. Riley Park in Charleston, S.C.

Schierholtz, San Francisco's second-round pick in the 2003 amateur draft, has been a constant thorn in the side of league pitchers this season. He ranks among the SAL lead in five categories, including a tie as the top power hitter with 15 home runs.

"He is a special hitter," Suns manager Mike Ramsey said.

"There aren't a lot of spots (in his batting stance) where you can get him out. They have been pitching away from him and he has made adjustments. He can drive the ball and hit the other way."

Schierholtz is hitting .307 with an SAL-leading 36 extra-base hits. He is second in the league with 21 doubles.

He showed his prowess on Thursday when he capped Hagerstown's three-run rally in the eighth inning with a two-run homer over the right-center field wall to lead the Suns to a 3-2 victory over Lakewood.

Schierholtz turned on Clemente Doble's 1-1 fastball and launched it out of the park to give the Suns a win in a game where they had been no-hit for the first six innings.

"Late in the game, there is no other guy I would rather have up - and that's league-wide," Ramsey said recently. "I love to have him up there because you know you will get a quality at-bat. He had a great month of May when he hit 11 home runs. He's just a darn tough out."

The division-leading Charleston Alley Cats placed seven players on the Northern team while Hickory sent six players to the team. Charleston, S.C., topped the Southern Division with seven players selected.

NOTE - Maxwell Leon, the son of Suns pitching coach Maximino Leon, was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 50th round of this week's annual major league draft. The younger Leon is a second baseman at South Mountain Junior College in Phoenix.

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