O'Neill brings the lumber in 'Kings' win

Mariners' No. 18 prospect goes yard for second straight game

Tyler O'Neill was a third-round pick in last year's Draft out of a British Columbia secondary school. (Paul R. Gierhart/MiLB.com)

By Robert Emrich / MiLB.com | August 6, 2014 11:46 PM ET

Tyler O'Neill made a mistake earlier this year that could have cost him dearly. Instead, he's learned from it.

The Mariners' 18th-ranked prospect homered for the second game in a row and drove in four runs Wednesday night, powering Class A Clinton to an 11-4 rout of visiting Beloit.

O'Neill put the LumberKings on the board early, hitting a three-run shot in the first inning. After going hitless in his next two at-bats, he singled home Jack Reinheimer in the sixth to extend the lead to 11-3.

"I'm just trying to help the team win," said the 19-year-old outfielder, who also threw out a runner at second base. "I got a couple of good pitches and I'm going to take advantage of that. First at-bat, [Beloit starter Kyle Finnegan] left a fastball up and in, got the bat on it and turned on it."

O'Neill homered twice and drove in three runs on Tuesday in his first game with Clinton since May 10, giving him seven RBIs over two days.

"I'm feeling pretty good," the British Columbia native said. "I'm in a bit of a hot streak, I guess you could call it. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully, I can keep driving in those runs. Individual stats don't mean too much to me as long as we're winning games."

The 2013 third-round pick missed nearly three months after breaking his right hand punching a dugout wall in frustration during a game on May 10. He expressed regret over the incident and said he hopes to be able to prove himself to his teammates.

"I don't even really feel it now," O'Neill said of the injury. "I was, not devastated, but it was a tough time for me because I put myself there. It was actually in the middle of a game, which was really stupid of me.

"I'm glad to be back. [Finishing strong is] really important to me. I want to show the guys that I'm here and I'm not going to do any stupid stuff and I'm not going to let my injury get the best of me."

O'Neill, who shared the Midwest League home run lead at the time of the injury, has raised his average 18 points in the last two nights to .279.

Austin Wilson, Seattle's No. 7 prospect, smacked a solo blast and scored twice, while Justin Seager homered, tripled and drove in four runs for the LumberKings.

Luis Baez hit a two-run homer for the Snappers.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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