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Pelescak Snags 18 Balls at Progressive Field

Pittsburgh Ballhawk Heads to Cleveland in Pursuit of a 400-Ball Season, Has Career-Best Outing

Nick Pelescak

Pelescak documented the occasion with this photo, which actually only includes 16 balls because 2 were given away.

Nick Pelescak has fallen well behind the total ball count of his friend and fellow Pittsburgh ballhawk Erik Jabs, but with about a month left in the season he's established a clear goal: become just the third member of to snag 400 or more balls in a single season. Prior to Friday night's game, his 321 balls left him just 79 balls away from reaching that goal.

Knowing that he had a limited amount of time to reach his goal, he hit the road and headed to Progressive Field in Cleveland, a park at which he's had a lot of success in the past. At a time when he desperately needed a big game, he delivered not only a big game, but as he described it, a "Monster" game. In fact, he finished the game with 18 balls, the highest single-game total of his career.

Pelescak arrived at the park early and took full advantage of the time he spent waiting in line for the gates to open. Right behind the home run porch, he had a good view into the stadium and could see that batting practice was well underway. "The most important part of this time was good Reconnaissance," he wrote in his blog entry. "As a few Royal players hit balls into the right and center field seats I charted where they were at in the section so that when I went in later I would know right where to go to find them."

Pelescak's eagle eye scored him tons of success. He quickly pounced on four balls that he had eyed from outside the gate, and by the end of BP he had tracked down a total of 10 easter eggs. Add in six batting practice homers and a couple of toss ups, and Pelescak earned himself his personal best outing in his career, and the second highest single-game total by any ballhawk at Progressive Field. Breaking his personal record came down to the wire though -- when the teams stopped taking BP he actually was stuck on 16, tied for his previous best outing, but after thoroughly combing the left field bleachers and Heritage Park for balls he came up with the two additional balls to establish his new record.

As for getting to 400, this was a big step in the right direction. "That took a big chunk out of 79 balls to get to 400, making my magic number for 400 now 61 balls," he wrote. "With a few more trips to Cleveland and the remaining Pirates games, plus 2 games at Target field in Minnesota I feel a bit better about making it to the 400 club. I need to get some good Cleveland games to help me get there."

Read Nick Pelescak's complete blog entry, which describes his 18-ball game ball-by-ball

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