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Canterbury hits for home run cycle

Jul. 10, 2009 @ 12:00 AM

BARBOURSVILLE -- Barboursville Park has been the home of some incredible sports action over the past week.

However, nothing compares to the feat that Barboursville's Eli Canterbury achieved on Wednesday night.

Playing for Barboursville's District I All-Stars, Canterbury went 4-for-4 with four home runs while hitting for the elusive 'home run cycle' in Barboursville's 19-1 win over East Huntington at Barboursville Park.

For those who aren't aware, the home run cycle is where a batter hits a solo home run, a two-run home run, a three-run home run and a grand slam in the same contest.

His mother Angela could not believe that he hit two, let alone four.

"After the first one, I never dreamt it would happen again," Angela Canterbury said. "To be honest, I just didn't want him to strike out."

Strike out, he certainly did not.

Not only did he achieve the feat, he achieved it in order.

The solo home run came first, then the two-run shot, then a three-run bomb and the grand slam to end the accomplishment.

"When he got up with the bases loaded the last time, we assumed they might walk him, but they pitched to him and he hit a grand slam first pitch," said mother Angela.

Eli Canterbury said that he wasn't nervous going into his fourth at-bat, nor was he focused on hitting the ball over the fence.

"I don't really know what I thought. He pitched it and I hit it," Eli Canterbury said. "I just tried to swing straight and stay level."

The impact of what happened was not realized by those in attendance or his teammates, whom he said offered a simple "good job" for the accomplishment.

In fact, the home run cycle is absolutely the rarest of feats in baseball, even more impressive than pitching a perfect game and certainly more rare than the regular cycle, which happens at the frequency of 0.0011 percent of the time.

The home run cycle has never been accomplished at the major league level and has only been recorded once at the minor league level in professional baseball.

To put it in perspective, baseball statistics gurus can't define the odds of achieving the feat because it has happened only once in recorded history -- that coming on July 27, 1998 when Tyrone Horne did it for the Class AA Arkansas Travelers in a 13-4 win over the San Antonio Missions.

Eli Canterbury said he hit eight home runs in the regular season and had not hit one in the District I All-Stars until Wednesday's accomplishment.

His team returns to action against Ceredo-Kenova at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Vinson Little League.

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