In the roughly yearlong process that has seen Stetson Allie try to convert from a Pirates pitching prospect to a first baseman, Sunday might have marked a high point.
The 22-year-old ripped a walk-off solo homer in the 11th inning, giving the Class A West Virginia Power a 6-5 victory over the Asheville Tourists.
Walker Gourley flied to right field to open the 11th and D.J. Crumlich took a called third strike. Allie followed and sent an offering from Roberto Padilla over the right-center field fence for his first full-season home run.
It was an about-face from a couple innings earlier, when the Tourists loaded the bases with none out but could not score. But Pat Ludwig replaced reliever David Jagoditsh and got Matt Argyropoulos to hit into a double play before striking out Matt Wessinger.
"When Asheville had the bases loaded and we turned two, that's when I knew we were going to win," Allie told the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
This time a year ago, Allie was with West Virginia -- only as a pitcher. He recorded two outs over two appearances, allowing four runs on a hit and eight walks and in June, the Pirates acknowledged he would be converting to a position player.
The 2010 second-round pick spent the rest of the season in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where he hit .213/.314/.340 with three homers, six doubles and 19 RBIs in 42 games.
Through four games in the South Atlantic League, Allie is 4-for-17 (.235) with a .314 on-base percentage and .471 slugging percentage, most of that thanks to Sunday's 2-for-5 effort that yielded two RBIs and a run scored.
"I was excited. Our team needed this win. I was just so pumped," Allie told the Gazette-Mail.
Eric Wood also went 2-for-5, launching a solo shot in the sixth inning that got West Virginia within 5-3. Gourley contributed three hits, including a pair of doubles, and two RBIs.
Ludwig (1-0) yielded just one hit and struck out three over three scoreless innings for the win. He finished off a stellar effort by the Power bullpen, which limited Asheville to five hits over the final 7 2/3 innings.