Greensboro's Scott Cousins joked to teammates about hitting 10 long balls in his final 12 games prior to Wednesday's game. After his three-homer performance against Hickory, it doesn't seem like a joke anymore.
Cousins plated nine runs with the trifecta of blasts to power Greensboro over visiting Hickory, 13-7, on Wednesday. His previous career high was two homers and four RBIs on July 13 against Lexington.
"It was definitely a personal best," Cousins said.
After teammate James Guerrero opened the first inning with a walk, the 22-year-old right fielder stroked a game-tying two-run homer for the Grasshoppers (30-29).
"I got to see some pitches from the on-deck circle," Cousins said. "He was around the zone, so I went in looking first-pitch fastball, middle-in, and got it."
An inning later, Cousins launched a grand slam, the first of his career. He had entered the game 1-for-8 this season with the bases juiced.
"My mentality with the bases loaded is to be aggressive," he said. "[The pitcher] needs to get ahead."
After walking in the fourth and grounding out in the sixth, Cousins smashed his 17th homer, a three-run shot in the eighth.
Cousins, who hit .211 with one home run and six RBIs in 90 at-bats for Jamestown last season, then kiddingly told the team's home run leader, Spike McDougall, "I'm coming for you." Moments later, McDougall cranked a a solo homer, his 19th of the year.
Guerrero went 3-for-4 and scored four times and Logan Morrison and Greg Burns each drove in a run for Greensboro, which has won four straight and pulled to within 4.5 games of the first-place Crawdads (34-24) in the South Atlantic League's Northern Division with 11 games to play.
Greensboro starter Tom Cowley (5-5) gave up five runs on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts in five innings.
Crawdads starter Matt McSwain (2-2) yielded six runs on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts in three frames.
Jonel Pacheco homered twice and drove in three runs for Hickory, which has lost three straight. The 24-year-old right fielder has 24 roundtrippers, two behind Ryan Royster for the South Atlantic League lead. Eddie Prasch ripped a two-RBI single in the fourth and Kent Sakamoto cranked a solo blast in the fifth, his 14th.
Ryan McConnell is a contributor to MLB.com.