Allen powers Storm in two big innings

Padres No. 20 prospect homers twice, plates career-high six runs

Austin Allen is hitting .385/.412/.679 with eight homers and 26 RBIs in 26 games in July. (Ben Sandstrom/MiLB.com)

By Kelsie Heneghan / MiLB.com | July 30, 2017 3:08 AM

Austin Allen achieved multiple career highs and was part of an 11-run inning on Saturday. But none of that is what he'll remember most from the game.

"Most memorable part I would say was my first at-bat where I got a single through the four-hole," he said.

From that rewarding early at-bat, the Padres' No. 20 prospect went 4-for-6 with two homers and six RBIs as Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore rolled to an 18-1 victory over Visalia at Recreation Park.


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"The starter tonight for Visalia, he made some great pitches. I fouled some off and I just battled and I ended up winning that one," he said of facing Nick Baker (1-2). "That's probably the most memorable one, just because he made good pitches and I was fortunate enough just to fight them off and try to get to a better one, and it ended up working out for me."

The Storm had a 7-1 lead heading to the ninth and Allen was satisfied with his 2-for-4 effort that included a solo shot in the fifth. But there was more to come.

With catcher Seth Spivey getting the ball for the Rawhide, Chris Baker popped out, Rod Boykin walked and Padres No. 21 prospect Michael Gettys was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Then Allen dug in for a two-run double to right.

Seven of the next eight batters reached as Lake Elsinore stretched its lead to 15-1. Soon, it was Allen's turn again as the 23-year-old came up with two on and two out. And with Matt Jones, another catcher, on the mound, Allen said he just wanted to put the ball in play.

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"It's definitely a lot more challenging than what it seems like," he said of facing a position player. "First pitch, he threw a fastball for a strike and then he threw a changeup and I was 14 days early on it, so after that I was sweating bullets."

Allen belted a three-run blast to center for his 18th long ball of the season and first career multi-homer game. But as he rounded the bases again, the St. Louis native wasn't thinking about his career night.

"I think I was just laughing to myself just 'cause my swing before that was so bad and I didn't think the at-bat was going to go my way," the Florida Institute of Technology product said.

Facing the two backstops, Lake Elsinore totaled two homers, four doubles, four walks and two hit batters.

"It was crazy. It seemed like nobody could really get out," Allen said. "Hitting is very contagious, so as soon as one guy got on, it was almost like everybody just wanted to keep getting on and keep it going, get the next guy up there. And that's what happened. Just to see that, it was incredible."

Prior to the late theatrics, Allen was part of another unique moment. After Gettys led off the fifth with a homer, Allen followed suit and, a couple pitches later, Fernando Perez did the same.

"[Gettys] absolutely crushed that ball. I wasn't trying to do anything special, just have a good, quality at-bat and I got lucky, the ball just went out," Allen said. "I think that's the first time all year that our team has gone three home runs in a row. And that was the first time I had ever seen it in person, so it was definitely a lot of fun."


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Allen finished with his fifth career four-hit game while surpassing his previous best of four RBIs. The left-handed hitter raised his average to an even .300 as he more than doubled last season's career high of eight homers.

"I'm just getting lucky, I guess, just trying to put my best swing on pitches that I feel like I can hit hard and get something in the air," he said. "I definitely think that it's just I'm not trying to do too much and I'm just trying to go up there and have fun and have a quality at-bat and look for a pitch that I can drive and get in the air."

The Storm collected 17 hits, including 14 for extra bases. Kyle Overstreet went 3-for-5 with a homer, two doubles and two RBIs, while Carlos Belen homered, doubled and drove in four runs.

The support was more than enough for starter Jacob Nix (4-3). The Padres' No. 15 prospect yielded a run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in seven innings.

Kelsie Heneghan is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kelsie_Heneghan. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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