Kernels' Cowart powers offense in win

No. 4 Angels prospect collects four hits, four RBIs, three runs

By David Heck / Special to | June 14, 2012 9:15 PM ET

Kaleb Cowart began his night with a bit of good fortune. He ended it by making his own luck.

The Angels' No. 4 prospect collected four hits, four RBIs and three runs scored on Thursday as the Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels breezed past the Burlington Bees, 8-0.

Cowart homered, doubled and singled twice, falling a triple shy of the cycle. The effort marks his third game of the year with four or more RBIs -- he drove in four against Burlington on May 9 and five against Wisconsin on June 1.

"I'm very happy," Cowart said. "I had a really good night at the plate."

The 20-year-old third baseman got a pair of hits to fall in his first two plate appearances, recording consecutive broken-bat RBI singles in the first and third. Nothing was left up to chance in the seventh, however, when Cowart took the first pitch of the inning over the left-field wall.

The longball came off lefty reliever Chas Mye, marking Cowart's second homer off a southpaw this year.

"The count was 0-0, I was just looking for a fastball middle-in about belt-high, and that's what I got," he said. "I put a good swing on it."

Cowart capped his night with an RBI double against left-hander Brent Powers in the eighth, giving him two of his eight extra-base hits against southpaws in one game. Overall, the switch-hitting Cowart has posted a .305 average with an .879 OPS from the left side this year, compared to a .280 average and .749 OPS from the right.

"It's tough, because the majority of my at-bats are left-handed," Cowart said. "To turn around is tough. [My right-handed numbers] were down significantly at the beginning of the year, but I was able to get them back up. A few liners here and there, and they'll be right back up there with my left-handed numbers."

Cedar Rapids starter Cam Bedrosian struck out seven over five shutout frames, recording his second pro win in as many outings. A 2010 first-rounder who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011, Bedrosian has not allowed a run over his last 11 innings.

"He's been pitching really well, throwing all his pitches for strikes, getting ahead of batters," Cowart said. "That's the goal. Get ahead, work ahead, put batters away. He's done a good job of that."

After Thursday's game, Cowart is hitting .297 with nine homers and 51 RBIs in 64 contests. Looking back on the first half, he noted that he's learned an important lesson -- know what you're looking for and execute when you get it.

"Just don't get too aggressive and pick your one spot," said Cowart, whose goal is to finish the year at Class A Advanced. "Don't get yourself out. Pick your one pitch that you want to hit and don't miss it."

David Heck is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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