For Alex Dickerson, Friday night in the Arizona Fall League ended a heck of a lot better than it began.
The 13th-ranked Pirates prospect went hungry in his first four at-bats of the evening but delivered a walk-off single in the 10th as Scottsdale outlasted Glendale, 2-1.
"I had a couple at-bats against really good pitching, and I didn't come through up to that point," Dickerson said. "I didn't feel great and haven't for the last couple weeks. But you always have a shot when you're in the box."
In the early innings, the Indiana University product faced No. 3 Twins prospect Alex Meyer, who twirled for Kentucky University. Both players were drafted in 2011.
"That's the first time I've gotten to see him pitch," Dickerson said. "Obviously, he was lights out tonight. I had heard about him in college and heard a lot of good things."
Dickerson struck out on three pitches in the first and grounded out on Meyer's 1-2 offering in the third. By the time the 23-year-old outfielder came to the dish in the 10th, he'd also lined out and whiffed again. But with runners on first and second, he poked an 0-1 pitch from Mike Thomas (Dodgers) through the left side for the game-winner.
"I was just looking to do something small. It's pretty wet out there so I thought just a nice small swing ought to get the job done," Dickerson said. "He threw back-to-back fastballs and I just chopped one the other way and it ended up working out."
The hit improved the Scorpions to 3-6 in the autumn circuit, and provided relief to a club that was blown out, 10-5, on Thursday and lost, 7-4, on Tuesday despite scoring a run in each of the final three innings.
"It's big. When you go to extras you want to make it worth something. If you're going to play extra baseball for free, you might as well get the W," he said. "It's great being around guys like this. You get to see what other guys are like and you're able to test yourself."
Dickerson spent the regular season with Double-A Altoona, hitting .288 with 17 homers and 36 doubles in 126 games. He's batting .292 with two doubles in six AFL games.
"I'm just trying to perfect my game. Small things here or there, hitting-wise getting my timing back," he said. "Generally with me, I always start slow, and then, as I get a feel for the league, I tick up a bit."
Braves prospect Robby Hefflinger also contributed for Scottsdale, homering, singling and collecting two RBIs.
Dickeron's organization-mate, Phil Irwin, gave the Scorpions three shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out three. Irwin had elbow surgery in July and missed most of 2013.
"He looked great. It was his first game-like starting in a while," Dickerson said. "He does what he does. He commands the zone well and keeps the defense ready behind him."
Reds prospect Tucker Barnhart was 2-for-4 with a seventh-inning, game-tying RBI double for the Desert Dogs. No. 5 Twins prospect Eddie Rosario and No. 17 Marlins prospect Brent Keys also had two hits apiece on the losing side.