Former San Diego State teammates Nick Schulz and D.J. Slaton meant to get together Sunday night. Instead, they met up on the ball field Tuesday, and consequentially, Slaton may not be in the mood for a social visit anytime soon.
Fort Wayne's Schulz hit two home runs off the Bowling Green right-hander in the Class A TinCaps' 13-3 thrashing of the Hot Rods.
"On the first day we played, he told me to text him after the game. I forgot, but I'll probably text him now," Schulz said. "He got drafted in the 37th round [in 2013] and I didn't get drafted, so I have some fire in my belly for him."
On top of smacking the two homers -- one of which was a grand slam -- the Padres outfield prospect finished 5-for-5 with six RBIs in the finale of the three-game series.
Schulz, who was signed by San Diego out of independent ball in May, became the first Fort Wayne player to record a five-hit game since Yeison Asencio did so on July 29, 2012. His grand slam was the TinCaps' 98th of the season, a franchise record.
"It felt like one of the best games of my career. That's for sure," said the 23-year-old. "You've got to enjoy it until midnight, and then just get ready to go tomorrow. It felt like I had a really good game at the plate, and hopefully I can build off that."
He knocked an RBI single in the first inning against Hot Rods starter Ben Griset. That at-bat was the first of two in which Schulz worked out of an 0-2 hole and ended up with a hit.
"The first at-bat, I just wanted to see some pitches. You always want to be making adjustments as a hitter. I was trying to be patient and foul off close pitches," he said. "He threw me a fastball on the outer half. With a full count, I like to let the ball travel a little more and the middle of the field."
Schulz singled off Griset again in the third.
In the fifth, he stepped in against Slaton with two outs and quickly fell behind, 0-2.
"Michael Collins, our manager, told me to take the first pitch so I could see what he's got. He threw me a fastball for a strike, then he threw another and I fouled it to right field," Schulz said.
After two sliders in the dirt and a fastball up out of the zone, Schulz made contact with Slaton's 3-2 inside fastball, sending it over the left-field fence.
"The first home run I kind of hit off the end of the bat, but I had good backspin on it. It barely went out, but I'll take it," he said.
The very next inning, he faced Slaton with the bases loaded and one out.
"I did hit a home run off the fastball before, so I thought he was most likely going to go with offspeed pitches with the bases loaded," Schulz said. "He threw me a 1-2 changeup up in the zone, and I hit it pretty good. I knew [right away] the grand slam was gone.
"If he kept that changeup down, he probably would have got me, because he has good stuff. He's a good kid and a good pitcher. I just got good swings on his pitches and it happened that they left the yard."
Schulz recorded his fifth hit in the eighth, a single off of Andrew Hanse.
Fernando Perez lofted a two-run homer for Fort Wayne, giving him a Midwest League-leading 91 RBIs to tie a franchise record set by Will Venable for the then-Wizards in 2006.
Jeffery Enloe allowed two hits over six innings, walking one and striking out four en route to a victory. He's 5-6 with a 4.17 ERA.
Bowling Green's Willy Adames went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs.