Lockhart attacking his opportunities at all levels

Hawks’ second baseman went 4-for-9 in two games with Triple-A Iowa.

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comAugust 9, 2013 

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Boise Hawks player Danny Lockhart smiles while talking with his teammates before the game against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes at Memorial Stadium on Tuesday evening. Tuesday June 18, 2013

KYLE GREEN — kgreen@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

— Danny Lockhart had a good excuse for missing Tuesday’s Northwest League All-Star Game.

The Boise Hawks second baseman was supposed to start, but was away on a call-up — to Triple-A Iowa during a road trip to Tacoma, Wash.

“It’s been wild, kind of a shock,” said Lockhart, who returned to the Hawks’ lineup Thursday.

Lockhart put himself in place to earn a promotion by hitting .309 and leading Boise with 50 hits in 44 games before the All-Star Game in Everett, Wash.

After the Chicago Cubs called up Donnie Murphy on Saturday and former Hawks player Logan Watkins on Sunday, Iowa needed an infielder — and Lockhart just happened to be a little more than an hour away.

Then, thanks to a teammate arriving to the park late, Lockhart played Sunday against the Rainiers and went 2-for-5 in his Class AAA debut. He followed up with a 2-for-4 performance Monday before taking the bench Tuesday.

“A lot fell into place for all that to happen,” Lockhart said. “I didn’t even know if I’d even play when I got there.”

The son of Keith Lockhart, who played in 979 major-league games from 1994-2003 with San Diego, Atlanta and Kansas City, Lockhart learned a thing or two about making the most of a chance from his father. The elder Lockhart didn’t make his MLB debut until he was 29.

Danny Lockhart, 20, has taken every shot he can to make an impact, playing third base and shortstop this season in addition to second, where he was supposed to be the NWL’s South starter in the All-Star Game.

“He put himself in position to earn that opportunity, and he made the most of it, going 4-for-9,” Hawks manager Gary Van Tol said. “… He’s done that constantly here. When the year started, we thought he might be a backup infielder, that maybe this might be a bit much for his age, but he’s built on that confidence and hasn’t given up his spot to anyone.”

Just as is the case with any players in the minors, Lockhart hopes to move up as soon as he can, but he has a bit of work he wants to finish in Boise. He hit .221 last season in rookie ball, but was hitting .301 after the first month.

“Last year, I started kind of the same way, but my last month kind of crushed my season,” Lockhart said. “I’ve got to keep up what I’ve been doing, staying positive, and hopefully help us into the playoffs — you don’t have them in rookie ball, so that’d be nice.”

Now that he has a bit of experience, and some success, at the Triple-A level, Lockhart says it will only serve to motivate him further.

“Absolutely, 100 percent,” Lockhart said.

Hawks win

Boise saw a four-run lead going into the ninth inning Thursday dwindle down to two, but Tyler Bremer got out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam with a pair of strikeouts to earn the save in a 7-5 win over Vancouver.

Yasiel Balaguert hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, his sixth of the season.

Kris Bryant got the Hawks on the board in the first inning with a solo home run, his fourth homer in 14 games with Boise, extending his hitting streak to 11 consecutive games. He is hitting .359 during the streak (14-of-39).

Transactions

Pitchers Jose Arias and Jose Rosario were assigned to Boise from Class A Kane County. Catcher Cael Brockmeyer remains with Triple-A Iowa, currently playing a series in Fresno. He was called up from Boise on Tuesday.

Dave Southorn: 377-6420, Twitter: @IDS_Southorn

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