UPDATE: Wittels will have to wait until next season for a chance at history. FIU lost to Dartmouth 15-9 on Saturday afternoon and have been eliminated from the NCAA tournament.
2:28 PM: According to Aaron Fitt of Baseball America, Florida International shortstop Garrett Wittels extended his hitting streak to 56 games with a first-inning double against Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon.
Of course, Joe DiMaggio holds the major league record with a 56-game hitting streak, but Wittels is now just two games away from tying the Division I record set by Robin Ventura with Oklahoma State in 1987. Damian Costantino established the NCAA record by hitting in 60 straight games with Division III Salve
Regina from 2001-2002.
The only thing is, it looks like Wittels might not get a chance at the record this season. After pulling out to an early 6-2 lead, FIU currently trails Dartmouth 12-8 in the top of the seventh inning. With a loss, FIU would be eliminated from the NCAA tournament.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.