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Hockaday passed current New York Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira as the greatest power hitter in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association history Friday when he belted his 30th career home run as John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.) blanked Archbishop Curley (Baltimore), 9 0.

Teixeira had 29 home runs during his outstanding career at Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore).

“It feels amazing just to be mentioned in the same sentence as Mark Teixeira,” Hockaday told MaxPreps. “He’s a role model to so many kids in this area. I watch him play a lot. Hopefully, some day I will be able to fill his shoes.”

The frustrating part came earlier in the spring when he hit his 25th and 26th home runs in a game. He had entered the year with the (incorrect) knowledge that the record was 25. Coach Joe Stetka sent someone out to secure the “record” ball.

“I was pretty pumped and we all were going crazy,” Hockaday recalled. “Later that night a kid found out and came to my house. He said, ‘Dude, you didn’t break it.’ That was one of the worst feelings.”

When Hockaday normally a line drive hitter finally did break the record on Friday, he made sure by hammering a towering drive that cleared the left centerfield fence by an estimated 60 feet, landing about 420 feet from home plate.

“I hit it on the fat part of the bat and put a good swing on it,” he said proudly.

The John Carroll slugger says that most people don’t believe it, but he has been playing baseball since his father signed him up at age 3. He learned a valuable lesson as a 10 year old playing for the Baltimore Buzz when he belted his first home run over the fence.

“I jumped over home plate (failing to touch it),” he said, thus being forced to settle for an official triple. “I’m sure superstitious (since then) about touching home plate.”

Stetka, who also scouts for the Baltimore Orioles, had watched Hockaday grow up, always kidding him that they would make a great combination. Two years ago his dream came true when he took the head job at John Carroll.

“He’s one of the greatest kids I’ve ever coached,” he pointed out. “He’s a team leader. Kids sort of rally around him. He’s always got his game face on and is a great competitor. He’s very humble and knows he has to work hard. Nothing rattles the kid. He comes to win and gets better every day. He makes the game fun for me.”

Through 20 games, Hockaday is hitting a robust .639. He has 10 home runs, eight doubles, three triples, 35 runs and has driven in 28 runs. He also has walked 24 times and been hit seven times as pitchers continually jam him to keep him off the plate.

At 6 foot 3 and 215 pounds, he has surprising speed (6.7 seconds for 60 yards) and has stolen 13 bases in 13 attempts. He also has pitched 10 2/3 innings,
timberland outlet store Hockaday passes Mark Teixeira's home run record
compiling a 2 0 record with 15 strikeouts, two walks, five hits allowed and a 1.97 ERA.

The overall state home run record still stands at 35 by Jason Maxey of Hammond (Columbia, Md.), but Stetka is quick to point out the strength of the MIAA, which has produced many great players. He calls it “probably the most competitive league in the state. There are nine schools all private with the ability to recruit. It’s like a men’s league. Some of these kids are huge. I call it the Beast League.”

Hockaday believes he still has a shot at the overall state record, because the Patriots are in the MIAA playoffs.

“I think my chances are real high,” he said hopefully. “I’ve hit six home runs in my last four games and I’m swinging a real hot bat.”

His future, indeed, is bright. Hockaday carries a 3.4 GPA and has signed with the University of Maryland, where he wants to study kinesiology. However, he also has a good shot at being a high pick during June’s Major League Draft.

He plays shortstop for John Carroll, but Stetka sees him at third base or right field after high school.

“Maryland is a good option, but playing professional baseball always has been my dream,” Hockaday said.

Whatever happens in the next month, Stetka promises, “He is going to play baseball for a long time as long as he stays healthy.”

Digital Harbor (Baltimore, Md.) standout Nathan Pitts Jr. batted a lofty .721 this year to set a Maryland state record, according to the Baltimore Sun.

New Albany (Ind.) sophomore lefthander Josh Rogers tied the school record by striking out 18 batters during an 8 1 victory over Seymour (Ind.). His fanned a maximum 15 during the first five innings.

Sophomore Evan Anderson belted three home runs as Dale (Okla.) routed Frederick (Okla.), 12 2, in five innings.

Mike Napoleon notched his 700th victory when New Trier (Winnetka, Ill.) edged Maine South (Park Ridge, Ill.),
timberland outlet store Hockaday passes Mark Teixeira's home run record
9 7.