Mobile needed a big game to stay alive in the Southern League Finals. Andrew Chafin came up with the biggest one of his career.
The D-backs' No. 8 prospect pitched a complete-game six-hitter Friday night as the BayBears blanked Birmingham, 6-0, to force Game 4 in the best-of-5 Championship Series.
With Mobile needing a win to avoid getting swept, Chafin (1-0) needed only 99 pitches to throw his first career shutout. He struck out three batters, walked two and faced six over the minimum.
"I was able to locate my fastball in and out, my sinker was working well, I was getting a lot of ground-ball outs," Chafin said. "I was able to make the right pitch at the right time and the defense was doing a phenomenal job behind me."
In 50 career Minor League starts, the 23-year-old left-hander had two complete games, but he'd never pitched a shutout.
"It's real exciting," he said. "All I cared about tonight was us getting the win. It benefited the team and saved the bullpen. Every game I start I have the intention of doing what I did tonight. Things were working, I was able to keep my pitch count down and was able to get real deep into the game."
After watching Birmingham score 16 runs in winning the first two games, it was up to the Ohio native to keep the BayBears, although Chafin didn't view it as a do-or-die scenario.
"I treated it like every other outing, just try to get as many hitters out as I can," the 2011 first-round pick said.
Nick Evans staked Chafin to a 1-0 lead with a third-inning triple, then scored on Garrett Weber's sacrifice fly. Mobile added three runs in the fourth on singles by Nick Ahmed and Justin Greene. Ahmed, Arizona's 13th-ranked prospect, added an RBI double in the sixth.
"It's real nice pitching with the lead," Chafin said. "It helps get the momentum going, and I feel like that's the biggest thing right there."
Barons starter Spencer Arroyo (0-1) suffered his second playoff loss after allowing five runs on six hits over 3 2/3 innings.
Michael Earley had a pair of hits for Birmingham, which hosts Game 4 on Saturday.