Grant Heyman knew he needed a home run to complete a cycle in his final at-bat Sunday night. And even though the D-backs outfield prospect delivered a career night at the plate, his teammates still let him hear about it after he didn't send one out.
Heyman notched his first career five-hit game, scored a professional-best five times and drove in three runs in Class A Advanced Visalia's 12-2 win over Lake Elsinore at Recreation Park.
The 23-year-old wanted nothing more than to go yard during his eighth-inning at-bat. He even had the embarrassing swing to prove it.
"I was very aware [about the cycle bid] and my teammates made sure I knew it too," he said. "If you have that type of opportunity, you best be going for it. I was definitely up there swinging for [the home run], so much so that I missed the first pitch, which was about a foot in front of me. I think my teammates were a little bummed out I hit a grounder and not even a pop fly, but you won't hear me complaining about a five-hit night."
Sunday marked Heyman's third career game of four or more hits and his second this season. He fell a double shy of the cycle during a 4-for-5 performance on April 7 against Lancaster. His perfect evening at the plate lifted his average to .246 and made him 15-for-37 in eight games this month after notching 15 hits in all of June.
Gameday box score
Heyman got the Rawhide offense going with a leadoff single to left field in the second and scored on Henry Castillo's sacrifice fly. The Community College of Southern Nevada product tied the game, 3-3, with an RBI single that deflected off Lake Elsinore starter Jake Esch and crossed the plate on Castillo's single to right. Heyman doubled to center and scored in the fifth, and plated a pair with a triple to center in the sixth. He scored on a wild pitch and completed his best game as a professional with a single to right in the eighth, scoring on Castillo's career-high fifth RBI of the game.
The knock was Heyman's sixth consecutive hit going back to his 12th-inning single Saturday, which came after he struck out in his first five at-bats.
"Last night was hands down the worst game I've ever played in my life," the Pittsford, New York native. "Something I pride myself on is coming to the ballpark the next day with the same attitude no matter what happened and just keep on working. I try not to let the previous game affect me too much. My parents always said never to get too high or too low, so that helped me bounce back."
Arizona's eighth-round pick in 2014 hit .262 with 31 extra-base hits and 46 RBIs in 101 games for Class A Kane County and Visalia in 2016. While his strikeouts are up to 105 this season, he is only two walks shy of matching last year's total despite having 129 fewer at-bats. MiLB include
"I know I'm capable of having a great season," Heyman said. "I got off to a really tough start, but the first half is behind me and I'm looking forward to a good second half. My average is a little low, but that'll turn. I'm happy where my power numbers are and I'll keep piecing it together and developing. Struggling like that will make me better in the long run and I'm sort of grateful for that in a way, even though I stunk."
Rawhide starter Justin Donatella (5-8) won for the fifth time in six decisions after beginning the season with seven straight losses. The No. 26 D-backs prospect allowed two runs on four hits without a walk while striking out five in six innings.