SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — At 4 p.m. on an August afternoon, Sacramento State Baseball Coach Reggie Christiansen is doing what you might expect, watching baseball players from his perch along the first base line at John Smith Field.
But, these players are 3,000 miles away, and one of them is the best player he ever coached. Rhys Hoskins, now with the Philadelphia Phillies, is tearing up major league pitching, becoming the fastest player to hit 10 home runs. Faster than Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds or any one else. He also tied a Phillies club record with five home runs in five straight games.
Not that his coach or anyone else is surprised.
“He was a great baseball player here,” says Sac State’s former Athletic Director Bill Macriss. “He had power, great in the field, and was smart and very coachable.”
That might explain how the career first baseman has impressed at a new position: left field. Playing Sunday at Wrigley Field, Hoskins made a shoe string catch that started a triple play — the first by the Phillies since 1953.
Hoskins’ success has been a boon to recruiting, which could help to make Sac State a perennial power in the Western Athletic Conference; a strong team for years to come.
Cynics say Hoskins’ torrid debut will be cooled as National League pitchers learn his weak points, but Christiansen says they may be hard pressed.
“He doesn’t strike out. He’s got good discipline at the plate. He’s a good two-strike hitter. I think he’s going to be there for a long time.”
Rhys Hoskins did not homer Monday night, so the Phillies club record of five home runs in as many games is intact, for now. Hoskins went two for four with a run scoring double, helping the Phillies beat the Braves 6-1.