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Mustangs in the Pros: Haniger Earns Second Career Multi-Homer Game

Mustangs in the Pros: Haniger Earns Second Career Multi-Homer Game

MITCH HANIGER HIGHLIGHTS (MLB.com)
MITCH HANIGER INTERVIEW (ROOT Sports)
MUSTANGS IN THE PROS (pdf) | AUDIO

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Former Cal Poly outfielder Mitch Haniger homered twice in a game for the second time in his Major League career and threw out a Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runner trying to stretch a single into a double Tuesday night, sparking the Seattle Mariners to a 6-3 win at Safeco Field.

Hours after he and his teammates hosted a number of kids from Seattle Children's, Haniger hit his 14th and 15th homers of the season, going 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs.

On Wednesday, Haniger doubled up an Angel runner at first base in the top of the ninth, his eighth outfield assist of the year, then belted a walkoff two-run home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth as the Mariners completed a sweep of the three-game series with an 8-6 victory.

It was Haniger's second career walkoff homer. On June 1, he led off the 13th inning with a home run to give the Mariners a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Hitting third in the batting order Tuesday, Haniger belted a solo home run in the first inning and a two-run shot in the fifth frame, both off Angels starter Jaime Barria.

In the top of the sixth, Luis Valbuena pulled a line drive into the right-field corner. Haniger hustled to the ball and unleashed a laser of a throw to second base to cut down Valbuena.

"Luckily I got a really good bounce off the wall," Haniger said. "It bounced right up to me. I definitely need to get the ball lower."

Haniger is hitting .270 in 67 games with 13 doubles, 16 home runs, matching last year's total, and 52 RBI, a career high just 40 percent into the 2018 season. He is No. 2 in the Majors with his 52 RBI and his 16 home runs is tied for No. 10.

"Mitch is a five-tool player. He can hit for average, he's got some power, he's a pretty good defender, runs the bases well and he's off to a great start this season. It's fun to watch," said Seattle manager Scott Servais.

Haniger is one of three players in the Major Leagues with at least 15 home runs and 50 RBI, alongside the Red Sox J.D. Martinez and the Orioles' Manny Machado.

Cal Poly's only other active Major Leaguer is relief pitcher Bud Norris, who has picked up two saves and a win in his last three appearances on the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Norris has 13 saves in 14 opportunities with three wins and a 3.38 ERA, allowing no runs in 16 of 18 relief appearances before giving up single runs against Pittsburgh on May 31 and June 2. His wins are against the Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds.

View a video player profile of Norris by clicking here.

Ex-Mustang infielder Mike Miller has lifted his average 31 points over his last eight games at Pawtucket, going 9-for-28 (.321), while first baseman Brian Mundell has gone 21-for-59 (.356) with seven doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in his last 16 games at Hartford, bumping his average up 39 points.

On the mound, Erich Uelmen tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings with nine strikeouts against West Michigan on June 8, improving to 4-4 with a 4.03 ERA, while Chase Johnson allowed one unearned run over four innings in a no-decision against Trenton on June 7.

Casey Bloomquist earned his first win of the year June 10 against Salem, four days after picking up his first save of the year against Buies Creek.

The lone ex-Mustang in Triple-A is infielder Mike Miller (Pawtucket). Outfielder Zack Zehner (Trenton), first baseman Brian Mundell (Hartford), middle infielder Peter Van Gansen (San Antonio), pitcher Chase Johnson (Richmond) and infielder Mark Mathias (Akron) are in Double-A. Catcher Chris Hoo (Jacksonville) was released on May 28.

Follow all former Cal Poly baseball players in the professional ranks by clicking the link at the top of the page.

Photo of Mitch Haniger (second from right) courtesy of the Seattle Times