Jays' third-rounder Alford goes deep

Football quaterback, 2012 Draftee hits first career home run

Anthony Alford went 1-for-4 in his second game with the GCL Blue Jays. (Paul R. Gierhart/MiLB.com)

By Danny Wild / MLB.com | June 19, 2012 2:24 PM ET

Anthony Alford's home run on Tuesday was the first of his career, although it wasn't the first time he's helped a team win by a football score.

The Blue Jays' third-round pick in this year's Draft slugged his first professional home run Tuesday afternoon, hitting a solo drive in the fourth inning off Tyler Glasnow in the Gulf Coast League Jays' 7-0 win over the Pirates in Dunedin, Fla.

Alford played in his second game after signing with Toronto, although he's destined for another debut later this year when he joins Southern Miss as a college football quarterback for the fall semester.

The two-sport athlete will lose his amateur status in baseball after playing with the Jays this summer, but at least for awhile, he'll try to juggle both sports.

Alford, who went 1-for-4 with a single in his Toronto debut on Monday, hit second behind D.J. Davis, the Blue Jays' No. 1 pick in the Draft. Davis, who singled on Monday as well, went hitless but scored a run in his second game. The fellow Mississippi native, who turns 19 in just over a week, was Drafted 17th overall by the Blue Jays out of Stone High School.

Alford was Toronto's No. 7 overall pick out of Petal High School and is believed to have received more than $424,000 when he signed -- the outfielder was considered a first-round talent for his bat, but his desires to also play football caused him to slip into the third round.

"My original thinking heading into the Draft was that I really wanted to play both football and baseball at the college level and to get my education," Alford told The Mississippi Press. "I felt extremely blessed that the Toronto Blue Jays selected me in the third round. After talking with the Blue Jays, and then with the staffs of both the Southern Miss baseball and football teams, along with my parents, I thought it was in the best interests of my family to sign with the Blue Jays and begin my professional baseball career.

"I am excited that I will get the opportunity to compete for the Golden Eagle football team and continue my goal of working towards my college degree this fall," he said.

The Pirates were held to just a pair of hits, neither of which came from converted third baseman Stetson Allie, who entered the 2012 season ranked among Pittsburgh's top prospects as a pitcher but has switched to third base last month. Allie, who went 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk on Monday, finished 0-for-3.

Toronto got a combined two-hitter from Alberto Tirado, who went the first three innings, along with relievers Francisco Gracesqui, Adaric Kelly, Tim Brechbuehler and Brandon Kaye.

Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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