Mathisen mashes five hits for Curve

Pirates third-base prospect ties single-game franchise record

Wyatt Mathisen sports a.298/.380/.398 slash line through 89 games in his first season at Double-A. (Rick Nelson/

By Chris Tripodi / | August 4, 2017 12:34 AM

Wyatt Mathisen missed a week with a hamstring issue, but he's quickly making up for lost time.

The Pittsburgh third-base prospect went 5-for-5 in Double-A Altoona's 10-5 win over Erie on Thursday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The five hits set a career high and he became the franchise's 15th player to amass that many knocks.

Video: Altoona's Mathisen gets fifth hit

"I felt pretty good. It was my second game back from missing a week, so I was trying to see as many pitches as I could and keep my approach," Mathisen said. "It was just a little precautionary thing with my hamstring to make sure nothing else happened."

Batting sixth, the Texas native reached on an infield single in the first inning and scored when shortstop A.J. Simcox made a throwing error trying to force him out at second. That put the Curve up, 4-1, in what turned into a five-run frame against right-hander A.J. Ladwig (7-4).

The Curve tacked on three more runs in the second, capped by Mathisen's two-out line-drive single to left that scored Jin-De Jhang and ended Ladwig's night.

Gameday box score

"When the whole team is seeing the ball well, it gives you confidence to go up and see the ball well," the 2012 second-round pick said. "When the rest of the team is getting hits, it really boosts the team morale."

Mathisen singled to left in the fourth, driving in Anderson Feliz to give Altoona a 10-4 lead. The 23-year-old lined a single to right in the sixth, before coming up with two outs in the eighth with a chance to make a little personal history. Mathisen ran the count 2-2 against right-hander Sean Donatello before singling to left for his fifth knock.

"Honestly, I just didn't want my last at-bat to be an out, so I was really trying to get a hit or at least get on base with a guy behind me to see if we could score some more runs," the 6-foot, 227-pound infielder said.

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With four homers this season, Mathisen already has matched the career high he set in 118 games with Class A Advanced Bradenton in 2015. He's two doubles shy of tying his professional-best 17 two-baggers notched in 103 games with Class A West Virginia in 2014. His .298 batting average and .778 OPS would be the best marks of his six-year tenure in the Minors outside of an eight-game stint in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2013.

"The biggest difference from [Class A Advanced to Double-A] is the adjustments the pitchers make on you as a hitter. In Bradenton, sometimes a pitcher would throw you the same stuff after you got a hit off them," Mathisen said. "Some seasons I've tried to do a little too much, and this year, I've done a good job staying with my approach and not trying to be something I'm not.

MiLB include

"I've adjusted [my swing] to get more balls in the air, and our hitting coach, Kevin Riggs, talks about trying to hit the ball as hard as you can and not as far as you can."

Jhang collected a homer, a triple and five RBIs -- a season high for the Curve. Pirates No. 5 prospect Cole Tucker collected two hits, a walk and scored twice.

J.T. Brubaker (6-4) allowed four runs -- three earned -- on eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts over five innings for the Curve.

Chris Tripodi is an editor for Follow him on Twitter @christripodi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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