Rare rule, home run welcome Neuhaus back

Vision troubles gone, Brewers prospect plates three, out on weird play

Prior to Wednesday, Tucker Neuhaus had three homers and one triple in his two-year career. (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)

By Kelsie Heneghan / MiLB.com | April 29, 2015 6:05 PM ET

Usually when players say they aren't seeing the ball well, it means they're slumping. For Tucker Neuhaus, it meant he literally wasn't seeing the ball.

In his first game back since a trip to Milwaukee to get glasses, the Brewers third base prospect went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs for Class A Wisconsin on Wednesday. And the first of his three RBIs came on a play that forced the umpires to dig deep into their rule books.

"I was excited to get back. I was itching to get back out there and I got an opportunity and did well today," Neuhaus said after the 10-2 win over Clinton at the LumberKings' Ashford University Field. "I really wasn't trying to do too much -- just try to get in the swing of things. My swing felt good, I was on time. Good results."

A couple of months ago, Neuhaus noticed that the vision in his right eye got significantly worse at night. The 19-year-old played on Opening Day, going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, but it wasn't just dominant pitching that got him out.

"Something with my eye was wrong. And the first game I was seeing the ball well while the sun was still out and then once it got dark, my vision went bad," he said. "I have some Oakley sports glasses that I got."

In his first game back, Neuhaus tied a career high with three RBIs, the first coming in the first inning on an unusual forceout. With the bases loaded and one out, Neuhaus -- the Timber Rattlers' No. 5 batter -- hit a grounder to second baseman Gianfranco Wawoe.

"[Dustin DeMuth] slid [into second], had a nice aggressive slide. [Wawoe] threw the ball away and I went to second," he said. "[DeMuth] was just walking off the field and I guess Clinton thought he was just another baserunner who hadn't been called out yet, so they tagged him and they ended up calling him out on a forceout at second and then for, I think, obstruction or interference as well.

"So that was one of the craziest [plays] I had ever seen."

Neuhaus had advanced to third on the throwing error but became the final out, since DeMuth was ruled to have confused the defense in violation of Rule 7.09 (c). Two runs already had scored, though, and Neuhaus was credited with an RBI.

Things settled down the rest of the game, but it was still a special day for the 2013 first-round pick. In the seventh, Neuhaus smacked his first triple since 2013.

"It felt real good off the bat, hit it to center. I thought it had a chance to go out, but I wasn't sure, so I was running hard," he said. "I saw it short-hop the wall and the outfielder dove for it. I had the whole play in front of me, just coasted into third, so I felt good."

The Florida native capped Wisconsin's rout in the ninth with a two-run homer to right, tying his personal best for RBIs.

"I was just sitting fastball and getting my timing down and just got the pitch that I was looking for and put a good swing on it," he said. "In games, I don't even pay attention to the stats or what's going on -- I'm just trying to get a good pitch and hit it and have a good team at-bat and let the stats worry about themselves."

Although he committed two errors, Neuhaus said he's not worried since he's focused on getting reacquainted with the tempo of the game.

Milton Gomez (1-1) held Clinton to one run on three hits and three walks while fanning five over five innings to pick up his first win of the season.

LumberKings starter Lukas Schiraldi (1-2) took the loss after allowing seven runs -- two earned -- on four hits and three walks while striking out six in 4 1/3 frames.

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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