Every kid who has stepped up to the plate at a Little League diamond has dreamed of hitting a fly ball over a Major League fence. On Tuesday, Casey McElroy was finally able to do it.
Sure it was a Minor League game, but the stage -- Houston's Minute Maid Park -- was major.
"It was a great feeling, knowing that I can do it like the Major Leaguers," the Padres infield prospect said.
McElroy's blast was part of the Astros Futures Game, a slugfest that found his Double-A San Antonio Missions edging out the Corpus Christi Hooks, 15-14, at the latter organization's big league ballpark.
"This was a great experience to be treated like a big leaguer and how they go about their business," the California native said. "We had some good crowds. It was a good experience at Auburn and in the SEC, but this blows it out of the water."
The Hooks and Missions put on a show with a combined 29 runs and 32 hits. McElroy contributed a career-high five RBIs, surpassing his previous total of four set in a two-homer game for Class A Fort Wayne on May 6, 2011 at Dayton.
"It was a really good game," the second baseman said. "This whole series, we've played back and forth and we played 13 innings the other night. The atmosphere was really cool tonight, we knew whoever was hitting better in the ninth would win."
One of four lead changes occurred when Corpus Christi's Preston Tucker belted a solo shot -- his second homer of the game -- to give the Hooks the lead in the eighth.
"I haven't had too much success off [pitcher Jeff Ibarra] in the past. I wanted to barrel the ball up and fortunately, I was able to do that," the Astros' No. 20 prospect said of his Texas League-leading 17th home run. "It was the best feeling. I couldn't have asked for a better experience."
The Missions rallied in the ninth and took the lead on a two-run triple by Yeison Asencio. With two outs, McElroy was given the bunt sign and Asencio scored on a successful squeeze play.
"We were really excited. The game was going back and forth, both teams were hungry to win," McElroy said. "To take that lead was something. The dugout was electric."
The Hooks brought the game within one run in the bottom of the frame, but Tucker struck out to end the threat. Though the meeting ended on a sour note for the Florida product, he enjoyed the game overall.
"The experience was something a lot of guys will never forget," the outfielder said. "From BP to shagging fly balls, no one took it for granted. Everyone is trying to aim for this their whole career, it was really special."
Missions reliever Jerry Sullivan (3-2) picked up the victory after recording two outs in the eighth.
Andrew Robinson (4-2) was charged with the loss after yielding three runs on four hits in two innings of relief.