NEW BRITAIN, CT - In a season where New Britain is fighting for the second and final playoff spot in the Eastern Division, all eyes have been on the standings as well as on first baseman Chris Colabello's quest to reach the 100 RBI mark for the first time in franchise history. Meanwhile, outfielder Aaron Hicks quietly snuck up on a couple of franchise records of his own.
On Saturday night, Hicks etched his name into the New Britain record books as the all-time single-season leader in both runs scored and triples.
The 23-year-old tied the franchise mark in runs scored when he crossed the plate with his 96th run of the season on Friday night. He tied the mark previously set by Jason Bartlett in 2003 and Doug Mientkiewicz in 1998.
"It's an honor," said Hicks. "Those guys are terrific big league players and for me to tie them in runs scored really means a lot."
Hicks matched the record in style, crossing the plate on a Chris Herrmann walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth. The run gave the Rock Cats the victory and kept the team's playoff hopes alive another day.
" We're just trying to get into that playoff push. For me breaking records, it's an honor to be considered a guy who holds a record now. It's fun," said Hicks.
His biggest moment came on Saturday night. With a playoff berth on the line and where one loss could end the season for the Rock Cats, Hicks came through with a huge night at the plate. Needing one triple to tie the franchise mark, he delivered two triples for 11 total on the season to cement his name into the record books as the all-time single-season franchise triples leader. The previous record of 10 was held by three players - Cleatus Davidson, Trent Oeltjen and Roberto Zambrano.
Rock Cats manager Jeff Smith pointed out that Hicks has been among the top players for the Rock Cats all season long. Hicks, a 2008 first round draft pick, is having a career year, batting .288 with 13 home runs, 98 runs scored, 58 RBI and 32 stolen bases.
"Hicks has been doing fantastic all season. You can't get much better than the way he's been playing," said Smith. "Hopefully he continues to do it."
In a moment that exemplified the 2012 Rock Cats team unity, Hicks was quick to add that he couldn't have accomplished his runs scored feat without his teammates.
"I just want to thank my teammates," said Hicks. "Those are the guys who drove me in and allowed me to get those runs."