Plagman ends game with a cycle

Tigers prospect singles home winning run to complete feat

By Robert Emrich / Special to | May 22, 2012 7:33 PM ET

Ten days ago, Tony Plagman did something he had never done before. He found something else to add to his resume on Tuesday.

The Tigers outfield prospect hit a walk-off single in the ninth inning to complete the cycle and give Double-A Erie an 8-7 win over Reading.

Plagman's night started off with a bang as he hit a grand slam in the first inning, pacing the SeaWolves to a six-run opening frame. After hitting into a fielder's choice in the third, the Tigers' 2010 ninth-round pick doubled to center in the fifth and tripled to left in the seventh. Batting with two outs and Rawley Bishop on third, Plagman just missed a second longball, hitting the top of the wall in right-center field.

"It was a fun night," Plagman said. "I was aware [of needing a single], obviously it was cool. I've never done it as a professional, when the ball hit the top of the wall, I thought it was a homer."

On May 12, Plagman slugged three homers and drove in eight runs, both career highs, as Erie routed Altoona, 11-6. On Tuesday, he became the first Seawolves player to hit for the cycle since Casper Wells on July 29, 2008. Still, Plagman was more impressed with his outburst of power.

"I'd say the three homers," the Georgia native said. "I was kind of hoping that single was a home run too. I definitely like hitting home runs. The cycle is pretty cool too. It's something to be proud of."

Following an April in which he batted .157 with a homer and seven RBIs, Plagman has turned it on in May. The 24-year-old outfielder has posted a .932 OPS this month with six of his seven homers, plating 20 runs for the SeaWolves. Plagman thinks the key has been a change in approach.

"I've been too aggressive at swinging at balls that aren't good to drive," the Georgia Tech product said. "I'm settling down, getting good pitches to hit and using the whole field instead of trying to pull the ball. That's been big."

Bishop collected three hits, including a pair of doubles, and scored twice while Ben Guez homered and plated two runs for Erie.

Leandro Castro, the Phillies' No. 15 prospect, tripled home a pair of runs for Reading.

Robert Emrich 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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