Pittsfield Suns' Hamilton hitting his way into record books
PITTSFIELD — Eric Hamilton came to Pittsfield this summer with quite the Division III resume. He'll be leaving with his name all over the Pittsfield and Futures League record books.
"It's kind of a good honor, but it's only a stepping stone to where I want to be at the end of the year," Hamilton said when he wrote his name into the club record books.
Going into Tuesday's game, a game he did not play in, the SUNY-Oswego man has 10 home runs and 52 runs batted in. Both are single-season records in Pittsfield, while his single-season RBI total is a Futures League record. He is also four home runs from tying the league single-season mark.
"I expected a lot of production out of him," Suns manager Tom Conley said. "He's been so consistent for us and so key for us to be able to plug him into the middle of the order. He's been fun to watch."
Hamilton is the kind of player who doesn't get cheated at the plate. Even his outs are, to use a baseball term, "loud."
The 10 home runs, still with 10 regular-season games to play, surpassed the club record of eight set by Penn's Ryan Deitrich in 2012, the Suns' first season of play. The RBI record was also set in 2012 when Jimmy Ricoy of UMass-Lowell drove in 37.
The 52 RBI broke the league record set by former Torrington Titan Mike Odenwaelder. The ex-Amherst College player had 49 RBI in 2014. Hamilton broke the record by hitting a two-run single in a game at Nashua back on July 20.
In the Futures League, Mike Corin holds the single-season home run record. Corin hit 14 with Wachusett back in 2014.
"To be honest, I didn't know what the record was or anything like that," Hamilton said. "I just wanted to make good adjustments from aluminum to wood and so far, I've done that."
The Pittsfield infielder, who has spent most of his summer manning third base, came to town with a resume that included a second-team All-America nod from D3baseball.com, and an ABCA/Rawlings Division III All-America third-team nod. Hamilton helped lead his team to the NCAA Division III tournament.
As a team, Oswego was No. 2 in the New York Region and finished the year 12th in the D3baseball.com national Top 25 and ninth in the Collegiate Baseball Top 25.
Hamilton, who is currently hitting .311 and has been .300 or above for most of the season, is currently five doubles away from owning that Futures League record. Former Suns infielder Frank Crinella, who played collegiately at Merrimack, hit 17 doubles in 2013. Hamilton is second on the doubles list, passing Casey McCone from the University of Bridgeport, who had 11 last year.
For Hamilton, the adjustment to wood from the metal bats used in college "wasn't too bad."
"I'm not really used to swinging wood before. It took me a couple of days to get used to that," he said. "After that, it was kind of like the experience of riding a bike. You kind of like get used to it."
The Suns have had a number of quality hitters like Crinella, Deitrich, John Kinne and Kyle Singleton. Hamilton's name can go right there with the rest of them.
Hamilton was a Futures League All-Star, and participated in the Home Run Derby.
"You could definitely see he was going to produce and be a special player in the league," Conley said of Hamilton. "This has been really special."
Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.