SALT LAKE CITY — All season long, Andrew Romine had struggled at the plate.
Sunday afternoon, the Salt Lake Bees shortstop turned the tide — and ignited a mid-game rally that propelled the home team to its fourth-consecutive victory with a 10-1 decision over visiting Colorado Springs at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
“I don’t know if there’s one specific thing,” said Romine, who went into the game with a .176 PCL average and walked off the field 3 for 3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
“(It’s) getting pitches I can hit and not trying to do too much, because a lot of times I’ll get caught up in trying to do more than I have to,” Romine continued. “Really, all you’ve gotta do is put the big part of the barrel on the ball and a lot of good things will happen.”
Good things started for the Bees in the fourth inning when Matt Long and Kole Calhoun reached base with a walk and a single, respectively. Two outs later, Brad Hawpe hit an RBI single and Romine followed with a two-RBI single to deep right field.
The Bees batted back around to Calhoun and scored six runs before the Sky Sox could end the inning.
“Once (the hitting) gets a little bit contagious, it goes,” said interim manager Bill Richardson, who is filling in while Keith Johnson is away for his daughter’s high school graduation.
“I don’t think anybody was doing anything really different — just trying to stay back up the middle and hit the ball hard and put together a lot of good at-bats," added Romine.
The hitting continued into the fifth inning, where the Bees added three more runs to take a 9-1 lead.
“I haven’t done that before,” said Romine, who was part of a string of back-to-back-to-back triples along with Trent Oeltjen and Roberto Lopez.
“I’ve been in two, but three, that’s the first time,” he said. “It’s pretty exciting. It’s fun to throw something like that in the middle of the game, get you all excited.”
Every player in the lineup reached base and all except for Long recorded a hit. Calhoun finished 2 for 4 with two runs and Lopez was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker earned his fourth win of the season, striking out 10 batters in seven innings of work.
“We’re baseball fans, too, and that was fun to watch,” Romine said of the pitching performance. “It’s fun to see that and happy for him. He had a great day. He finally got some run support from us, so that helps and made it a little easier for him.”
The Bees improved to 28-30 on the season and 4-2 against Colorado Springs while the Sky Sox managed just three total hits in the game and dropped to 31-24 on the season.
Sarah Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008.