Former Canyon del Oro High School outfielder Scott Hairston was back in Tucson swinging a hot bat and playing for national pride while part of Team Mexico.
Mexico has been an offensive juggernaut while warming up for the World Baseball Classic, with nobody in more of a groove than Hairston.
“This is a big deal,” said Hairston, 28. “As players we consider it an honor to be able to wear this jersey. . . . It feels good to have the opportunity to play. It is an honor and a privilege to represent Mexico.”
The 1999 CDO graduate went 5 for 7 with four walks, four runs scored and four RBIs during a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado in back-to-back exhibition games.
Mexico knocked around Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa for 11 hits and six runs in 2 1/3 innings during Thursday’s 7-3 victory. Mexico defeated Arizona 19-4 a day earlier.
Hairston went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and three RBIs on Thursday at Hi Corbett Field, including a towering solo homer off Brandon Hynick.
“I am seeing the ball good, but I am really just trying to take it one day at a time,” Hairston said.
Hairston is playing with his brother Jerry, who went 3 for 10 with 4 RBIs, a homer and a double in the two games. The Hairstons are playing for Mexico because their mother, Esperanza, was born in Navojoa, Son.
Scott will rejoin the San Diego Padres after the classic, while Jerry is a utility player for the Cincinnati Reds.
Scott Hairston fits right in after hitting a career-high 17 homers and driving in 31 runs a year ago before an August thumb injury.
“Our main focus is having good at-bats and keep the pressure on the other team,” he said. “We have a well-balanced lineup one through nine and we have to keep pressure going.”
Team Mexico vs. Arizona, 1:05 p.m., Tucson Electric Park; Colorado vs. San Diego, 1:05 p.m., Peoria