They say confidence is key, and that maxim is especially true for Clint Frazier.
Carrying his hot hitting into the Midwest League playoffs, the Indians' second-ranked prospect homered and doubled twice Wednesday as Lake County beat South Bend, 6-2, in the opener of their best-of-3 first-round series.
"I felt very good, very confident at the plate, and I'm glad the results showed," the 19-year-old outfielder said. "I think everyone was excited and we felt confident going into this game."
Frazier staked the Captains to an early lead with a two-run jack in the third.
"I was just trying to get myself the best possible chance to impact the game," he said. "[Silver Hawks starter Anthony Banda] gave me a good 3-2 pitch and I was trying to put it in play, and I ended up hitting it over."
MLB.com's No. 47 overall prospect doubled in the fifth and again in the seventh, scoring on a two-run triple by Indians No. 4 prospect Bradley Zimmer.
Frazier led the Captains with 70 runs scored and 19 stolen bases and was heating up as season wound down. In his final eight games, the fifth overall pick in last year's Draft collected nine hits and five walks and scored nine times.
"I just started to feel a little more confident at the plate, I started to feel like everything was coming together and I wanted to carry that into the playoffs," he said. "I think the confidence is a great thing to have at the plate, it makes me feel like I have a chance to impact the game in a way."
Hitting behind Frazier, Zimmer reached base three times.
Lake County starter Mitch Brown (1-0) got the win after limiting the Silver Hawks to a run on three hits while striking out six over 5 2/3 innings.
The series shifts to South Bend for Game 2 on Thursday.
In other Midwest League action:
Fort Wayne 7, West Michigan, 5
Padres No. 12 prospect Dustin Peterson went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored as the TinCaps captured the series opener. Midwest League MVP Wynton Bernard had two hits, including a three-run homer, for the Whitecaps. Box score
Burlington 2, Cedar Rapids 0
Victor Alcantara pitched six four-hit innings as the Bees shut out the Kernels in Game 1. Eric Aguilera had two hits, including a solo homer, for Burlington. Box score
Kane County 7, Wisconsin 3
Rehabbing Cubs slugger Mike Olt led the Cougars with three hits, including a three-run homer, while Trey Martin contributed two RBIs from the bottom of the lineup. Gameday box score