On the field in 2017, the Beloit Snappers had countless memorable performances throughout the entire season. The Snappers will release a list of "17's Top 17" to reveal the best moments from the past season. This countdown will include entire games and snippets of the Snappers 36th season of professional baseball in Beloit.
The second portion of the countdown includes three Snappers with some of the most memorable hitting performances from the 2017 season.
12. Loehr falls a home run shy of the cycle in back-to-back games
Trace Loehr did not hit a home run until the final day of the season in 2016, but he hit three in the span of a month during the summer of 2017. However, he would have completed one of baseball's rarest feats if one of those home runs would have fallen on July 12 or 13 at Lansing.
Batting leadoff in each game, Loehr checked off the double and single in the first inning of a six-game road trip on July 12. When he hit a triple in the fifth, he had a real shot. He came to bat two more times in that game and singled again before he hit into a double play in the ninth. After he singled and tripled in his first two at-bats the next day, he once again was staring into the face of a historic day at the plate. He hit a one-out double in the seventh inning before he delivered another single in the ninth.
For some hitters, the triple is the most difficult leg of the cycle. Loehr has hit more triples during his two seasons with the Snappers than every player but Brian Finley way back in the 1980s. As luck would have it, Loehr drilled a solo home run later in the road trip on July 17 at Great Lakes.
13. Theroux hits first two professional home runs in same game
Collin Theroux brought the thunder on April 14 against Peoria at Pohlman Field. Entering his fifth game of the season, Theroux was 0-for-37 for the Snappers from the end of the 2016 to the beginning of 2017. He shook that collar loose by driving a 3-2 pitch off the scoreboard in left field for a two-run homer and tied the game 2-2. The Snappers catcher delivered an encore in the seventh and tied the game 4-4 with another two-run blast over the batters eye in center field. Theroux finished the game 3-for-3 with a single to go with his pair of dingers. The Athletics 32nd round pick in 2016 had another two-homer game on June 1 against Clinton and finished the year 13 roundtrippers.
14. Shelby beats the Chiefs with bat and defense
JaVon Shelby powered the Snappers 3-0 victory on June 28 at Peoria. He smacked two of his eight home runs in 2017 in that contest, both solo shots. His first blast was in the third inning to break a scoreless tie. Shelby impressively robbed Peoria infielder Stefan Trosclair of a home run to right field to end the sixth inning and promptly led off the top of the seventh with his second solo bomb.
Shelby's first full season was a curious one as he set the Snappers single-season record for strikeouts with 164. He tapered off at the plate in every month of the season, but his .324 average on balls hit into play was in the top 30 among all players in the Midwest League in 2017 and reveals his potential to make sparkling performances like this one more frequently.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.