SPRINGDALE (KFSM) - Tuesday night started with a ground out for Naturals outfielder Bubba Starling. But, his night would completely turn around.
“Actually starting out the game, I had a rough first at bat,” Starling said. “I think I jammed it to the first baseman, and I thought man this could be a rough night. But, I ended up putting some good at bats together.”
His following appearance at the plate, he blasted a three-run home run to get his four hit night rolling.
“The biggest thing is you hope players know what they're about to accomplish,” Naturals manager Vance Wilson said. “You hope they're into it.”
But Starling wasn't quite aware he was on the verge of hitting for the cycle. His last at bat in the ninth inning, all he needed was the easiest of all, a base hit for a single.
“A few guys mentioned to me 'hey you're a single away from getting a cycle.’ I just started laughing. I'm like 'oh that's going to be pretty tough',” Starling said.
He broke his bat on a 2-0 fastball flare to left field to accomplish the big feat. Not only did Starling do something that's difficult for most ball players Tuesday night, he wrote himself into the record books for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
“It was pretty special getting to be a part of that. I guess it was the first time ever in Naturals history,” Starling said.
No other player for NWA has completed this feat, including the major league stars who have come through this ball club in the past eight years.
“You have Hosmer, Moustakas, some great players who have come through here. Just to be a part of it, to be the first one do it is pretty special,” Starling said.
No doubting there is still big things ahead for the Royals No. 6 prospect.
“Double A cycles aren't what you want. You want them in the big leagues, but you got to start somewhere. The kid is special, and he's doing a great job,” Wilson said.
To think the outfielder and record setter almost went to Nebraska to play football.