Helena's Raul Mondesi Jr. almost overshadowed another dominant performance by Missoula starter Andrew Barbosa when he hit a walk-off homer in the 10th inning on Monday. The problem was, it ended up being a walk-off win for Missoula.
With Helena down, 2-0, and a man on with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, Mondesi hit one over the center-field wall to tie the game. But he didn't step on home plate. Osprey manager Andy Green appealed and Mondesi was called out to end the game.
"It was crazy," Barbosa said. "[Mondesi] hits a home run, he's taunting a little bit running around the bases and then he steps over the plate. Our catcher, Michael Perez, saw it and waited for him to go in the dugout. He appealed it, the ump saw it, too, and he called him out."
For his part, Barbosa allowed one hit over six shutout innings in the Rookie-level Osprey's 2-1 win over the Brewers.
After striking out five and walking one, the D-backs prospect has yielded just one base knock over scoreless innings in two professional starts.
"I haven't really changed the way I've been pitching," said Barbosa, who estimated he threw about 70 pitches. "It's the same game from college. I don't want to come up here and try to do more than I can or am capable of; that's usually when you get in trouble. I'm keeping the same mentality and attacking hitters the way I know how to pitch."
Barbosa, a 36th-round pick in this year's Draft, set down his first eight batters Monday before Adrian Williams drew a two-out walk in the third. Emmanuel Quiles recorded the first hit off the 24-year-old left-hander, singling to lead off the fifth.
"It was the first pitch," Barbosa said. "The whole game, I knew they'd tried to attack early. It was a fastball away, I missed a little bit over the plate. They looked for the fastball early because they knew I threw a lot of off-speed later on. He happened to get good wood on it."
Barbosa went from a walk-on at the University of South Florida in 2010 to one of the best starters in the Big East Conference. He posted a 2.01 ERA over 191 1/3 innings in his college career and recorded a league-best 110 strikeouts as a senior.
The Florida native said he improved, thanks to his college pitching coach, Chuck Hernandez, who has served in the same capacity in the Major Leagues for the Angels, Rays and Tigers.
"It's unbelievable how you get a pro guy in there and it just changes the way you see the game because you have someone that has experience in it," Barbosa said. "He's really calm, helps you slow down. It's the same game you've been playing since you were 12 years old."
As a late-round Draft pick, Barbosa isn't dreaming of what could be down the line some day. Instead, he's focusing on what he has to accomplish this year.
"I know if I do what I know how to do, hopefully, I can take it to the next level," he said. "But one pitch at a time, one game at a time. I'm not looking too much into the future or looking at how many strikeouts I have. I want to get our team a win and I'll know I've done my job and it'll make me look good also."