One former first overall Draft pick helped another one get off the hook Sunday.
Top Houston prospect Carlos Correa hammered his first California League home run, a decisive three-run shot, to help Mark Appel avoid a potential loss in his first Class A Advanced start as Lancaster rallied past Lake Elsinore, 7-4, at The Hangar.
Appel, the first pick in the 2013 Draft and the Astros' No. 2 prospect, lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks and departing with the JetHawks trailing, 2-1. Reliever J.D. Osborne allowed two more Storm runs in the fourth .
"When it came to the [fifth] inning, and we were losing, we were like, 'Hey, let's go. We've got to get this 'W.' We've got to do something for these guys.'" Correa said.
Did they ever.
Correa merely continued his blazing start to his Cal League tenure. The first selection in the 2012 Draft singled and scored in the first and was aboard in the fifth when Brandon Meredith homered to tie the game, 4-4.
In the sixth, Correa strode to the plate with two men aboard and belted his first homer of the season, a line-drive shot to center field to give Lancaster the lead for good.
"I knew it was going off the wall for sure," he said, "but since it was a slider, the spin's kind of different from when you hit a fastball. It carries a little bit more. It was able to go over the wall, and when you get that first one out of the way, you feel obviously better. It's like getting your first hit of the season. It felt great to hit the first home run and be able to put my team ahead and win the game."
The rally, coupled with five scoreless innings on the mound from reliever Mike Hauschild (1-0), meant Appel didn't factor into the decision. Lancaster's 10-hit day also secured a split of the first series of the season.
"I love to play with this team," Correa said. "I played with these guys back in Quad Cities, and it was the same. These guys get on base, and they run. They steal bases, they get in scoring position for us, and it's great to have a team like that that's going to be on base a lot."
Correa singled again in the eighth while Meredith amassed two hits and four RBIs.
"Everybody here on this team works really hard," Correa said. "They know what they want for the future. They want to be great players. Everybody's on the same page. Everyone wants to get better every single day, and when you get better, you help your team win some games. That's our philosophy here."