Original published on 04-26-2013 on MLB.com. Written by Sam Dystraka. Photo by Jeff Murwin/MiLB.com
When the in-laws are in town, some spouses struggle to find a way to entertain them during their stay. Cameron Seitzer apparently isn’t one of those husbands.
With his mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law at the ballpark, the 23-year-old first baseman/outfielder tied his career high for hits in game by going a perfect 4-for-4 with a double and three RBIs for Double-A Montgomery in a 11-3 victory over Birmingham at Riverwalk Stadium.
Although he had familial eyes watching over him Thursday, Seitzer didn’t feel any added pressure to perform.
“No, not at all,” he said. “You don’t know when a night like this is really going to happen. I was trying to go up the plate with the same approach that I always have. Even after the second hit, I was still looking to hit something up the middle or to the right gap. They kept giving me something to hit and leaving the ball over the plate, so I kept taking advantage.”
Batting from the cleanup spot, the son of two-time All-Star Kevin Seitzer opened the night’s scoring with an RBI single in the first inning. He could have added another RBI on a base hit in the third, but Kevin Kiermaier was nailed at the plate by Barons right fielder Keenyn Walker. His two-out double in the fourth brought in Kiermaier and Mikie Mahtook to cap a five-run frame. He singled again in the sixth, but was denied a chance at his fifth hit two innings later when reliever J.R. Ballinger plunked him in his fifth plate appearance.
Seitzer didn’t seem perturbed by just missing out on a career night.
“Nah, I just wore it,” he said. “It came with two strikes, so I was just trying to get on base. It was obvious he didn’t do it on purpose. I just took it. It’s fine.”
Taken by the Rays in the 11th round of the 2011 Draft, the former University of Oklahoma slugger skipped the Class A Advanced level to join the Biscuits at the start of the season. He batted .307 with an .815 OPS, four homers, three triples, 36 doubles and 54 RBIs in 118 games for Class A Bowling Green last season en route to spots on the Midwest League postseason and MiLB.com Organization All-Star teams.
But even he was stunned in a sense to find himself in Montgomery instead of Class A Advanced Port Charlotte to start the 2013 campaign.
“It definitely surprised me,” Seitzer said. “I was working out with the Double-A club in Spring Training, and you know at a certain point that guys are going to be cut from big-league camp. So at that point, everybody drops down a level. But then, I broke camp with these guys, and now it’s my turn to do the most with this opportunity.”
After Thursday’s performance, his average jumped from .267 to .304, seventh-best in the Southern League so far, and trails only circuit leader Kiermaier (.353) for the team lead in the category. He also leads the league with eight doubles and is tied for second with 24 hits.
Put together with his latest 4-for-4 showing, that start to the season would be enough to make anyone comfortable at the Double-A level. Seitzer contends, however, that he’d take that type of production anywhere.
“Any time I might go 4-for-4, it definitely makes you feel better out there,” he said. “It’s not exactly something that happens all too often. It doesn’t matter if it’s A ball, Double-A, whatever. You have to be happy with it.”
Kiermaier finished 3-for-3 with a walk, four runs scored and two RBIs from the Biscuits leadoff spot. The top five batters in the Montgomery lineup — Kiermaier, Shawn O’Malley, Mahtook, Seitzer and Todd Glaesmann — each drove in at least two in the win.
Sam Dykstra is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.