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Bregman blasts Hooks to walk-off win

Top Astros prospect runs hitting streak to five games, drives in two
June 12, 2016

Alex Bregman watched as the first pitch he saw in the 10th inning sail over his head. In that moment, he knew exactly what was coming next.

The Astros' top prospect pummeled the next offering over the left field wall for a walk-off homer Saturday night as Double-A Corpus Christi overcame a late deficit and a rain delay to beat San Antonio, 5-4.

"The first pitch of the at-bat was a breaking ball over my head that hit the backstop," Bregman said after his third straight two-RBI game. "I thought that [Missions reliever Tayron Guerrero] would come back with a heater after that. The scouting report said that he threw about 97-100 [mph], so I was going to be on time for a heater, but I was going to be on time for one up in the zone."

He was.

Bregman met Guerrero's elevated 1-0 offering and sent it down the line for his 13th homer of the year and first game-winner since sinking Springfield with a walk-off shot on April 11.

"The pitch that he threw was a fastball up," he said. "When I hit it, I knew it was gone. It was a pretty cool feeling."'s No. 18 overall prospect wouldn't have been in position to play the role of hero if not for a furious late charge by the Hooks. Bregman helped get his team start erasing a three-run deficit in the eighth. While at the plate with runners at the corners, the 22-year-old shortstop watched as a wild pitch plated James Ramsey. Then he lined a single to right to drive home Astros No. 25 prospect Teoscar Hernandez.

In the ninth, Alejandro Garcia came through for Corpus Christi when his one-out single touched down in right field, plating J.D. Davis with the tying run.

Moments later, the skies opened up above Whataburger Field, forcing a delay. Corpus Christi didn't want to lose its energy.

"We just stayed in the dugout," Bregman said. "We just wanted to get back out there and get the game going and keep the momentum on our side. [Eric] Peterson did a great job after the delay of pounding strikes, and he got us off the field."

Peterson retired the Missions in order in the 10th and, after the first two men Hooks were retired in the bottom half, the stage was set for Bregman, whose five-game hitting streak includes three multi-hit performances.

"This team battles and it's been a complete team effort this whole year," he said. "We just put together some good at-bats in the eighth inning and ninth inning to give ourselves a chance to come back in this game. Everyone stepped up. Our bullpen stepped up, and then our bats stepped up in the eighth and ninth inning."

Bregman's streak has sparked a previously slow start to June. The LSU product had three hits in his first 19 at-bats this month.

Now 48 games into his first Double-A season, Bregman is batting .310/.409/.582 with 13 homers and 41 RBIs. Even though a promotion to Triple-A Fresno seems a near certainty in the coming weeks, one of the Minor Leagues' top shortstops is employing a levelheaded philosophy he learned from another.

"Corey Seager actually had an interview about how he got through the Minor Leagues and how he developed through the Minor Leagues," he said, referring to the Dodgers shortstop. "He just said that he tried to be the best player in every league he was in. That's been the approach I've taken this year."

Tyler Maun is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun.