Arizona third-base prospect Matt Davidson smacked 23 homers in the regular season. But it was his second longball of the playoffs late Thursday evening that may define Mobile's year.
The D-backs' top hitting prospect slugged a 10th-inning walk-off home run as the Double-A BayBears rallied to beat the Jackson Generals, 4-2, in Game 3 of the Southern League Championship Series on Thursday.
With the game tied, 2-2, and Matt Mangini on first base, Davidson fouled off four consecutive pitches by Jonathan Arias (0-1) before pulling the reliever's 10th offering of the at-bat over the left-field wall.
"I'm kinda speechless. It was definitely the biggest hit of my career," Davidson said. "It was just a long at-bat. I got a pitch to hit and that happened.
"Early in the count I was looking for a fastball. When it got to 3-2, I was just battling. I've definitely never had a hit the magnitude of this, nothing even close."
The win leaves the BayBears one victory away from repeating as champions. Jackson needs to win both remaining games -- on the road in Mobile -- to claim its first title the club was known as the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx in 2000.
Selected by Arizona 35th overall in the 2009 Draft, Davidson slugged 23 homers and plated 76 runs in 135 Double-A games this year. MLB.com's No. 46 prospect went deep in Game 3 of the Southern League semifinal win against Montgomery, but Thursday's blast was the most important of them all.
"It was just a great team win," said Davidson, who won a ring with the BayBears last year after being called up from Class A Advanced Visalia for the playoffs. "We came back in the late innings and everybody contributed. It was a fun game to play in.
"It was a great thing for us to win Game 3. But in every game, just like tonight, anything can happen. We have to go into tomorrow focused and play a good game. When [a championship] is within your grasp, it's a cool experience to have. That is the one goal you play for all year. You want to do everything you can to take advantage of it."
Jackson took the lead in the fourth inning when Mobile second baseman Michael Freeman's errant throw allowed Nate Tenbrink to score from third base.
The Generals then doubled their lead an inning later on Francisco Martinez's RBI single to plate Jesus Sucre, who had doubled to right field earlier in the frame.
That lead held up for three innings until Mobile rallied to tie the game in the eighth. Chris Owings, Mangini and Davidson each singled to start the inning, and two runs scored when shortstop Brad Miller misplayed Alfredo Marte's ground ball.
Those two runs ensured Jackson starter Taijuan Walker, who played on the same high school team as Davidson at Yucaipa in California, would not factor in the decision. Seattle's top prospect, and MLB.com's No. 5, fanned nine batters over 5 1/3 scoreless innings.
"Taijuan made some really good pitches. But it just takes one swing of the bat and you never know when that one swing will come," the 21-year-old said. "It's always fun to play a guy that you spent a lot of time with in high school. It's a unique experience because I grew up with him.
"Anything can happen in any game. The best two teams are in the Finals and that's the way it should be. Every game, every inning, every pitch counts."
Jackson's designated hitter Mike Zunino -- ranked No. 50 on MLB.com's list -- went 2-for-4 to raise his postseason average to .400, and center fielder Martinez went 2-for-3 with an RBI out of the No. 9 spot in the loss.
Mobile will look to clinch the championship Friday in Game 4. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET.