Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Torre, Meme would be so proud of you....

Langley hits for the cycle in Minors-
Catcher becomes first Grasshopper to accomplish feat


All of the work Torre Langley has been putting in with members of the Greensboro Grasshoppers coaching staff paid historic dividends Tuesday night.
Langley homered in the sixth inning to become the first player in team history to hit for the cycle as the Grasshoppers cruised to a 9-4 victory over the Hickory Crawdads at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The 20-year-old catcher might have had an inkling something special was unfolding when he hit his second career triple in the second inning.
"My manager [Edwin Rodriguez] asked if I needed time out to take a breather," said Langley, who remained unaware of his feat until after hitting a two-out solo shot in the sixth.
"It didn't really hit me until I got to the dugout and I thought, 'I guess I hit for the cycle.' I'd never done it before, so I'm not sure how to feel."
The Georgia native ranked the cycle right behind winning Home Run Derby at last year's New York-Penn League All-Star Game among his career highlights.
"That was a pretty big thing, just because it was at the All-Star Game," he said. "I guess this is second in command."
Since winning the derby, Langley had to deal with the deaths of both of his grandmothers, then spent most of June on the disabled list with triceps tendinitis. It's all contributed to a self-described up-and-down season.
"I'd get a hit here, go 2-for-4 the next day, then go 0-for-6, 2-for-4. I never could get in that groove to stay even," he said. "I've worked day in and day out with my coaches. They've been patient with me even when, at times, I haven't been patient with myself."
That work has included numerous drills, "probably so many you can't even write 'em all down," joked Langley, who saw tangible results early in Tuesday's game when he went the opposite way on his second-inning triple.
"I don't think I've ever hit a ball straight down the [right-field] line like I did," he noted.
An inning later, Langley reached on a bunt single for his second straight multi-hit game, then took a pitch behind the head before delivering an RBI double to center in the fifth.
"I was a little upset about that," he said. "The next at-bat, I just closed my eyes and swung the bat. It was a 1-1 count, right down the middle."
It was the second cycle in the South Atlantic League in four days -- both against the Crawdads. West Virginia's Eric Fryer did it on Saturday in a 17-1 rout of Hickory.
"I'm just happy to be out of this slump I've been in," said Langley, whose parents named him after current Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre.◦
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