New Jersey catcher blasts three home runs in one inning

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Senior catcher Mike Izzo tied a national record, clubbing three home runs in one inning while leading the Spotswood (N.J.) High School baseball team to a 30-2 victory over New Brunswick on Thursday.

According to the National Federation of High School Associations’ national record book, Izzo is the sixth scholastic player to homer three times in one inning.

Brad Degnan of California’s Woodside High School was the last to accomplish the feat in 2013. Michael Pierce of Indiana’s Middletown Shenandoah High School set the record in 1993.

Izzo is the first player from New Jersey to homer three times in one inning.

His first two home runs came off first-pitch fastballs, each of which he deposited over the fence in left-center field. His first blast led off the fifth inning, during which Spotswood sent 20 batters to the plate while scoring 17 runs. His second homer came with two aboard and sailed further than his initial blast. The third home run came off a 1-2 breaking ball at the knees and sailed into the netting above the left-field fence.

“I’m feeling my swing right now,” said Izzo, who is batting a team-leading .463 (25-for-54) with 20 RBI and five home runs. “I didn’t know (three homers in one inning) was a national record. I was just trying to help our team. I wanted to stay with my approach and hit the ball hard.”

Spotswood head coach Glenn Fredricks said Izzo, who has not yet committed to a college, is as humble a player as he has ever coached.

A day before Izzo tied the national record, he received the game ball after going 4-for-5 with a homer and five RBI in a win over Bishop Ahr. Izzo immediately turned around and handed the game ball to batterymate Dylan Seel, who hurled a complete-game two-hit shutout.

“The great thing about this kid is he is the most humble human being,” Fredricks said of his 6-foot-2, 270-pound backstop, who has hit safely in 14 of 15 games this season. “He is so locked in right now with his approach. He’s very difficult to get out.”

After hitting the third homer off the second pitcher of the inning, Izzo said, “I felt like I was floating around the bases, being able to touch them all for a third time.”

“It’s just an honor to hit three in a game,” Izzo said. “I hit the first one and it felt good. I saw the first pitch (next time up) and hit it out again.”

New Brunswick head coach Ed DiMaggio said that as Izzo circled the bases following his third home run, the irony was not lost on his players that the Spotswood star wears No. 3 on the back of his jersey.

“They said, number three got three home runs,” DiMaggio said. “Not only is he a humble player. He plays the game hard. He’s a good kid, you could tell.

“He’s a kid who goes about doing his business like a professional. He plays the game the right way.”

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