Sets national record
Senior staff writer
Roncalli sophomore outfielder Tommy Hansen is dreaming big after setting a national record Friday by hitting three grand slams in three consecutive at-bats.
His slams in the first, second and fourth innings came against Metamora Township (Ill.) High School in the second game of a doubleheader in Louisville, Ky. He is the sixth player to hit three grand slams in the same game, but no high schooler had ever hit three in a row, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations online baseball record book.
“I felt good going into the game,” Hansen said. The buzz already was going around the field when he stepped up to the plate for the third time.
“His first home run was normal as far as the excitement,” Roncalli coach Aaron Kroll said. “We were a little more excited after his second, but then when he came up the third time with the bases loaded, we were thinking this is something that’s never been done.”
Last year Hansen played for Roncalli’s freshman team and watched from the grandstand as the varsity squad won the Class 4A state championship at Victory Field.
The slugger, who played T-ball as a kid at Indiana Central Little League, has a bigger dream than hitting grand slams. He wants to help the Rebels return to Victory Field and said, “To hit a home run and win state again at Victory Field would be even bigger than hitting those three grand slams.”
Hansen slammed his way into the national record book in front of his parents, Joe and Gina Hansen (Joe is the principal at St. Roch Grade School), and grandparents Tom and Mary Carson of Beech Grove and Dan and Nancy Cox of Martinsville. Hansen has two brothers.
The right-handed hitter slugged his first grand slam off an inside pitch over left center field; his second was over center field after fouling off several pitches; and his third went over the left field fence. The Rebels won 12-1.
The single-season record in Indiana is four grand slams; the national record is seven.
Hansen has hit five home runs in 20 at-bats through his first six games as a varsity player.
Hansen is a product of Indiana Central and Edgewood Little Leagues and Indy Bulldogs and Indy Elite travel teams.
Kroll said he believes that Hansen’s increase in strength from offseason workouts has added to his power at the plate.
The Rebels are 4-2-1 after defeating Louisville Trinity 7-6 Saturday to wrap up their two-day road trip, which included a visit to the Louisville Slugger factory.
Roncalli plays at Chatard Wednesday, travels to Scecina Friday and plays at home Saturday at 11 a.m. against Columbus North.
(Note: Roncalli sports information director Rob Brown contributed to this article.)