Young sets record with 11 straight hits
Outfielder breaks 32-year-old Southern League mark
News travels fast, maybe too fast for Matt Young, when you string together 11 consecutive hits in the Southern League.
Young went 4-for-5 and broke a 32-year-old Southern League record with his 11th consecutive hit Sunday as the Mississippi Braves blanked the visiting Chattanooga Lookouts, 9-0.
Batting .296, Young singled in the first and second innings, hit a leadoff triple in the fourth and singled again in the eighth to break the league mark.
"It's pretty cool, not going to lie," the 25-year-old Braves prospect said. "They announced it after the 11th (hit). They jinxed me, and I said 'Oh dang it.'"
Unaware of the record until he broke it, Young's streak ended just when people started talking about it. He grounded out to second to lead off the eighth. Still, the record was his.
"My phone's been really blowing up since it happened ... people calling, texting me," Young said of his family members and friends who'd listened to the game on the radio. "It's nice, especially because I was 0-for-10 before that."
The previous mark was set by Jacksonville's Jim Covington, who reeled off 10 straight hits from July 8-10, 1970. Jacksonville's Joe Gates matched the feat from April 14-16, 1976.
"When we left Birmingham, someone told me I'd got on base 11 times in a row," Young said. "I didn't know the record, nobody told me that. But I thought I'd been on 11 times in a row, let's see if I could get it up to 15 or 20. That would be fun."
Young more or less accomplished that goal -- he reached base in 16 straight plate appearances. He also became the only Brave to get four hits on two occasions this year.
"In college I got on base 10 times in a row, but it was seven hits and three walks," Young recalled. "The game just slowed down for me this week, I've never been locked in like this before."
The mini streak came after brief slide in which the University of New Mexico product was held hitless in 10 straight at-bats.
"After the dry spell, I got in the cage early. My coach and I both noticed I was cutting off my swing," Young said. "I worked on finishing higher, and I guess that was the key. I started to square balls up, started staying through everything."
Young signed with Atlanta as a non-drafted free agent on Aug. 23, 2004 and debuted with Class A Rome of the Appalachian League. He's split his previous two seasons between Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and Double-A Mississippi. The left-swinging Texas native was named Southern League Player of the Week on July 14 after hitting safely in five of his previous six games.
Young said he never felt pressured to keep the streak intact, even when he came up gunning for his 12th straight knock.
"It was one of those things where I'd got the hit off him earlier, and he threw a good curveball, got me down 1-2," said Young of his fifth at-bat against Lee Tabor. "He made a good pitch, and right when I hit it, I knew it, I said 'It's over.'" In August 1929, George Quellich set a professional baseball record that still stands today by collecting 15 hits in 15 consecutive at-bats in the International League.
Southpaw starter Carlos Sencion (4-2) allowed three hits over five innings to pick up the win for first-place Mississippi (23-13).
Former Reds second-round pick Travis Wood (2-6) was reached for eight runs -- six earned -- on eight hits over five innings to suffer the loss for the Lookouts (15-21).
Danny Wild is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.