Nick Arata approaches hitting a baseball as if it were a relay race.
"Basically, you want to pass the bat on to the next guy," said the Hagerstown Suns infielder. "It there is a guy in scoring position, you want to get him in. If there is a guy on base, you want to move him up. You want to make it as easy as possible for the next guy."
Like most good hitters -- and lead relay runners -- Arata made his passes with the lead on Sunday. Arata had three hits and drove in four runs, including the game-winner with an eighth-inning single -- to lift the Suns to a 5-4 win over Lakewood at Municipal Stadium.
Arata reached base all five times, scoring Hagerstown's first run and driving in the final four. He was hit by a pitch and scored to put the Suns in a 1-1 tie before walking in the third. He followed with a critical RBI double in the fifth and a two-run single in the sixth before collecting the winning hit to break Hagerstown's three-game losing streak.