Matt Davidson has been there, done that. But he's doing it again, and it's a lot more rewarding.
After all, Davidson spent all of last season at Class A Advanced Visalia before his Southern League Championship-caliber homer capped a three-game cameo with Double-A Mobile. Now he's nearly back in the SL Finals in 2012 -- but in a much greater capacity.
"It takes the pressure off, knowing I was here the whole year. It almost means a lot more because I felt the struggles more," he said of what has been a long, muggy season of night games in Alabama. "It makes it even more meaningful, [chasing] this championship. Last year, I was trying not to screw up. It was their championship to win, and I was just helping out."
Davidson did more than that on Saturday night. He and Chris Owings, two of the D-backs' top five prospects, homered to power the BayBears to a 10-2 victory over the Montgomery Biscuits.
Mobile took a 2-1 edge in the best-of-5 series and can clinch a Finals berth with another win on Sunday.
"We want to get it done tomorrow," Davidson said, "while we're firing on all cylinders."
Batting cleanup, he lifted a solo shot in the third inning off starter Jacob Thompson.
"I was trying to look for something up [in the zone]," he said. "His changeup was working and it was hard to pick up when it was low, but he left one up."
The right-handed-hitting third baseman smacked a three-run double in the sixth off reliever Nick Barnese, who'd busted him inside to induce a groundout in the fifth. He also walked in the first and popped out in the eighth to complete his 2-for-4 night.
Davidson, a 2009 first-round Draft pick who enjoyed his best start to a season as a pro, racked up 23 homers, 28 doubles and 76 RBIs in 135 regular-season games. He also struck out 126 times and committed 28 errors on defense.
"I learned a ton of things about myself and the game," he said. "You don't really get better unless you struggle, and I had my struggles this year."
The BayBears also received a strong performance from starter Bradin Hagens (1-0), who struck out five and recorded 10 groundouts over seven scoreless innings. The 23-year-old right-hander scattered six hits and two walks in just his third start at Double-A and first in the postseason.
"He started throwing this cutter," Davidson said, "and that kept them off-balance. A good cutter moves, and it's hard to put a swing on the ball."
Thompson (0-1) was charged with five runs on eight hits over four innings.
Six BayBears recorded multi-hit games, including Owings, whose solo shot with one out in the opening inning set the tone.
While yielding a season-high 17 hits, the Biscuits continued to stall at the plate, going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. They're 3-for-35 in that situation during the series.
In other Southern League action:
Chattanooga 1, Jackson 0
Looking for a three-game sweep, Generals starter -- and Mariners top prospect -- Taijuan Walker held the Lookouts scoreless for 7 1/3 innings. His second-longest outing of the season wasn't enough, however, as reliever Jonathan Arias gave up an RBI double to the first batter he faced, Lookouts shortstop Rafael Ynoa.
Walker (0-1) also was up against strong a tag team of pitchers. Lookouts starter Chris Reed pitched three one-hit innings before relievers Onelki Garcia, Jose Dominguez and Steve Ames combined for 11 strikeouts and finished off the three-hit shutout. Gameday box score