Cleveland Indians prospect Will Benson became the first Midwest League player in nearly two decades to hit four home runs in a single game, bashing four long balls — including a grand slam — and driving in eight runs for the Class A Lake County Captains on Thursday, April 18, 2019, at Classic Park in Eastlake, Ohio.
As Andrew Battifarano writes at MiLB.com:
“Benson mashed 40 homers through his first 234 professional games, but nothing compared to the laser show he put on in his 235th contest. On Thursday, Benson got things rolling in the first inning against South Bend starter Eury Ramos with a two-run homer to right field. Two frames later, he mashed the first offering from Ramos and sent a solo roundtripper over the fence in right-center.
“Benson added a huge blow in the fourth with the bases full against reliever Zach Mort, depositing the 10th pitch of the at-bat over the wall in right-center for a grand slam. And things only got better in the sixth, as Benson led off the inning and belted his fourth homer of the night over the much-visited wall in right-center again.”
Benson had an opportunity to become the first minor-league player since Dick Lane in 1948 to hit five home runs in a game, but he struck out in his final at-bat in the eighth inning.
Benson’s 4-HR game is the first in the Midwest League since Garrett Jones of the Quad Cities River Bandits in 2002 and the fifth in league history, joining Garrett Jones (2002), Eric Battersby (1999), Mike Bishop (1978), and Bobby Smith (1959).
Click here for a comprehensive list of all 4-HR games in professional baseball history.
SABR founding member Bob McConnell first published the list in The Minor League Research Journal, Vol. 2 in 1997. It was updated in his landmark book, Going for the Fences: The Minor League Home Run Record Book (2009), and is now maintained online at SABR.org.
Originally published: April 18, 2019. Last Updated: April 18, 2019.