Cowgill Launches First Career MLB HR in Breakout Game
PHOENIX - Former Kentucky All-America outfielder Collin Cowgill launched his first career MLB home run as part of a career-best 4-for-4 game, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 6-1 win over the San Diego Padres, in front of 27,564 fans on Sunday afternoon at Chase Field.
A Lexington, Ky., native, and the 2004 Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball out of Henry Clay, Cowgill came into the game riding a 1-for-25 stretch in the big leagues, before busting out in a key win for the Diamondbacks, who are currently leading the National League West.
Cowgill's first big league homer came on a 2-1 offering from Padres' southpaw and former Ohio State star Cory Luebke, sending a screaming over the rightfield fence. The 5-foot-9, 185-pounder added a pair of singles and a run-scoring double in the eighth inning to help cement the win.
"I finally got an opportunity to play and to get a couple at-bats together," Cowgill said in an interview with MLB.com following the game. "And it was great to get that first hit out of the way and keep it rolling."
Cowgill entered the game riding a slump in his initial trip to the big leagues and spent time meeting with the Diamondbacks sports psychologist.
"He came in and cleared his mind," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "He got his mind freed up, and you could just see how much calmer he was at the plate."
Before a promotion to the Diamondbacks, Cowgill was making a case for Triple-A Pacific Coast League MVP accolades, batting .354 (140-for-395) with 24 doubles, eight triples, 13 homers and 70 RBI, stealing 30 bases and owning a .430 on-base percentage and a .554 slugging mark. In his first 23 MLB career games, Cowgill has hit .200 (11-for-55) with a double, homer and three RBI, stealing two bases.
During his UK career, Cowgill batted .306 (171-for-558) in 165 games, totaling 166 runs, 35 doubles, 37 homers, 140 RBI and 32 stolen bags, leading UK to 44 wins in 2006 and 2008, including the Southeastern Conference Championship in 2006. After launching 16 homers and hitting .361 in 2008, Cowgill was named a first-team All-America outfielder.