Roache makes more Manatees history

Brewers prospect records Brevard County's first three-homer game

Victor Roache boasts a .545/.583/1.455 slash line in three games this month. (Mark LoMoglio/Tampa Yankees)

By Kelsie Heneghan / | May 4, 2014 10:16 PM ET

As April became May, Victor Roache was looking for a clean slate. And on Sunday, he not only wiped away the memory of a rough first month of the season, he carved a place in Brevard County history.

The Brewers' No. 7 prospect belted a pair of solo shots and a two-run blast for the first three-homer game in the franchise's 21-year history as the Manatees defeated Clearwater, 11-5.

"It felt good, felt kind of weird at first," Roache said. "I don't think I've ever hit three home runs in a game since college. Everything happened so fast."

In fact, the 22-year-old accomplished the feat by the fifth inning. He launched solo homers off Threshers starter Miguel Nunez (1-3) in the second and fourth, then greeted reliever Steven Inch with a two-run jack to center field.

Roache never got a chance to tie the single-game Florida State League record with a fourth homer as the Threshers intentionally walked him in the seventh.

"I didn't see any good pitches to hit. I was up 3-0, I was really locked in at the plate [and] my manager gave me the green light," he said.

Roache led the NCAA with 30 homers in 2011 for Georgia Southern, but he hit .175 with two roundtrippers, 12 RBIs and a .289 slugging percentage in 25 games.

"I had some things mechanically wrong that started to affect me mentally. I was getting away from my approach," he said. "I've been getting here early and staying late. I think I've ironed the flaws out.

"I just got away from what I usually do when I'm swinging the bat well. All my power comes from my legs [and] just letting my legs work. I wasn't using my legs very well. I was really getting down on myself and pressing, but I came into May thinking, 'This is a clean slate. Don't worry about the batting average, don't worry at the plate.' And I think that helped a lot."

Roache's two biggest proponents are his father, Victor, and hitting coach Ned Yost IV. The elder Roache texts his son with tips every day, while Yost encourages him during extra sessions. Both reinforced a positive mind-set.

And in three games since the calendar changed, Roache is hitting .545/.583/1.455 with six RBIs.

The 28th overall pick in the 2012 Draft also capped an eventful week for the Manatees. His record-setting performance came five days after Tyrone Taylor became the first player in team history to hit for the cycle.

"It's been a crazy week for us, with my game and with Tyrone hitting a cycle earlier. I was happy to add to that," Roache said. "It's been fun. Our manager keeps guys loose, we never play tight. He lets us play our game. Win or lose, we always have a positive attitude."

Skipper Joe Ayrault had plenty to smile about on Sunday at Space Coast Stadium as Taylor doubled twice and drove in a run, and Brewers No. 15 prospect Michael Reed blasted his second homer of the season.

Brevard County's Jorge Lopez (3-2) allowed five runs on six hits over six innings but struck out six to win his second straight start.

Nunez surrendered eight runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. Making his season debut and beginning a rehab assignment, Ethan Martin -- the Phillies' No. 8 prospect -- pitched around a walk in a hitless frame.

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to 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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