Mac Williamson knows how to make a great pitching staff even better -- run support.
"All year, I've been saying we have the best pitching staff in the league," Williamson said. "Any time you get them an early lead, it takes of a lot pressure."
The Giants outfield prospect hit a two-run homer in the first inning of Class A Advanced San Jose's 9-2 Game 3 win at Visalia in the California League North Division Series on Monday. He was 3-for-5, falling a triple shy of the cycle, scoring twice and making his second outfield assist in two games. The victory gave the Giants a 2-1 lead in the best-of-5 series.
"It was great," Williamson said. "It's always good to win a road game, especially one that means this much."
His roundtripper was the first in a back-to-back pair as Ricky Oropesa followed with his second homer in 24 hours. San Jose starter and No. 19 San Franciso prospect Adalberto Mejia took the hill with a three-run lead and allowed two runs over six innings, striking out five along the way to pick up the win.
"When you give [a starter] an early lead, he knows he doesn't have to make the perfect pitch every time," Williamson said. "That took some pressure off Mejia tonight, and he was great."
Williamson further lightened Mejia's load by rocketing a throw to shortstop Matt Duffy to catch the Rawhide's David Peralta off first base after a one-out hit in the first inning.
The third-round pick from last year's Draft tied for the league lead with 15 outfield assists in this season, and he cut down No. 11 D-backs prospect Jake Lamb at second base on Sunday. Williamson is particularly happy to contribute in that fashion during the postseason.
"Late in the season like this, especially in the playoffs, one run is going to make a difference," he said. "Any time you can get an extra out or not let an opponent get an extra 90 feet is huge."
Williamson doubled in his ninth-inning at-bat, spraying the ball down the right-field line.
"There's not a lot of foul ground here. I knew if it landed, it would kind of cut away," the Wake Forest product said.
The Game 3 win put San Jose one victory away from the Championship Series. Second-ranked Giants prospect Clayton Blackburn will start Game 4 on Tuesday.
"It's just another game. We can't put too much pressure on ourselves -- that's what leads to stupid mistakes and mental errors," Williamson said. "We've got Blacky on the mound, and we're going to try to get him an early lead again and let him do his job."
In other action:
Inland Empire 6, Lancaster 2
Abel Baker missed the cycle by a double and he scored twice to help the 66ers motor to a 2-1 lead in the South Division Series.
Eric Stamets, the Angels' No. 9 prospect, had two hits, two stolen bases and two runs scored. Zach Borenstein, who's ranked six spots behind Stamets and led the Cal League with a .337 average and 28 home runs, went yard for the second time of the postseason.
No. 8 Houston prospect Nolan Fontana doubled and singled for the JetHawks, and he's hitting .417 in the playoffs. Gameday box score»