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James breaks BlueClaws' record07/15/2010 10:24 PM ET
It's safe to say Jiwan James' conversion has been a success.
The former pitcher extended his hitting streak to 22 games Thursday night, setting a new record for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws franchise with a single in his first at-bat.
The 21-year-old switch-hitting outfielder from Williston, Fla., led off Thursday's game with his record-breaking single to center field off Kannapolis Intimidators starter Matthew Hopps. The 6-foot-4 James had tied Ambiorix Reyes' 2001 record by extending his streak to 21 games with a 1-for-4 night Wednesday.
He also doubled in the third, his 20th of the season, and finished 2-for-6 as the BlueClaws won, 6-5, in 11 innings.
James entered the day batting .316 with four extra-base hits, 12 runs scored and eight RBIs over his previous 21 games. West Virginia's Jarek Cunningham previously had the longest streak in the South Atlantic League this season, an 18-game run that ended June 18.
James was drafted by Philadelphia as a right-handed pitcher out of Williston High School and pitched in nine games with the organization's Gulf Coast League club in 2007. He did not play the following summer, only to reappear last season an an outfielder with Class A Short-Season Williamsport, where he hit .264 with a homer and 13 RBIs in the New York-Penn League.
He was promoted to Lakewood this spring and has already put together a solid season, driving in a career-high four runs April 18 and collecting four hits May 31.
Mitch Hilligoss set the South Atlantic League hitting streak record in 2007 when he notched a hit in 38 straight games. Phillies prospect Harold Garcia owns the longest streak of the 2010 season after hitting in 37 consecutive contests with Class A Advanced Clearwater.