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By Mark Tennis
A California state record first reportedly accomplished in 1936 by the legendary Ted Williams when he played for Hoover High of San Diego has been broken by junior outfielder Brad Degnan of Woodside.
Williams hit two homers in one inning of a game against South Pasadena, an accomplishment that has been tied more than 35 times since then but never surpassed, according to the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book. Among others on the list with two homers in one inning are former major leaguers Brian Johnson (Oakland Skyline) and Brad Fullmer (Van Nuys Montclair Prep), former college quarterback and current broadcaster Chris Rix (La Puente Bishop Amat), Colorado Rockies’ pitcher Jon Garland (Granada Hills Kennedy) and Oakland A’s catcher John Jaso (McKinleyville).
Degnan smashed his three homers in the first inning of Woodside’s 24-6 triumph on Thursday against Westmoor of Daly City. According to John Reid of the Palo Alto Daily News, Degnan hit a line drive down the right-field line for the first homer and followed it up with a 375-foot blast over the right-field fence. The final of the three homers was to right-center but was a low liner that went over the fence at only about 300 feet, Woodside coach Tim Faulkner told the Daily News.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Woodside coach Tim Faulkner said to Reid. “All three of Degnan’s homers were legit.”
Reid also spoke to the new record holder: “It’s awesome. I never dreamed of a day like this.”
Woodside would score 19 runs in that first inning. Degnan drove in eight of those runs and tied another state record set in 1998 by Jake Mangas from Mercy of Red Bluff in a game against Bishop Quinn of Redding.
Teammate Greg Ramies also had a huge day for the Wildcats. He had a bases-loaded double in the first, then hit homers in the third and fifth inning to end with eight RBIs for the game.
A quick check of NCAA and major league baseball records shows no one with three homers in one innings. There are three players, however, listed with the feat in the National Federation of State High School Association National Record Book. Those three are Michael Pierce from Shenandoah of Middletown, Ind. (1993), Danny Kimura from Iolani of Honolulu, Hawaii (1997) and Bill Clayton from Glenwood of Chatham, Ill. (1999).
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