Powell plates go-ahead run in Ports' debut

California native gets old truck, three hits in return to his home state

Boog Powell posted a .452 on-base percentage in 69 Midwest League games. (Emily Jones/MiLB.com)

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com | June 24, 2014 2:01 AM

Monday was something of a homecoming for Boog Powell, and the party wasn't going to end until he decided it was time.

Playing a few hours away from his hometown while making his California League debut, Powell went 3-for-5 and drove in the go-ahead run for Class A Advanced Stockton in an 8-7, 10-inning win at Lancaster.

"It was unbelievable," Powell said. "I came into the game a little nervous. My first at-bat, I was a little nervous, but after that, I was able to compose myself. It was great."

Powell played hero in his Ports' debut, knocking a single to center field in the top of the 10th to plate Bobby Crocker from third and snap a 7-7 tie.

"I was just trying to get him in, get a pop fly to center or right," Powell said. "The wind was carrying out there and I was just trying to get a pop fly. It worked out in my favor."

The go-ahead RBI capped an exhilarating day for the Mission Viejo native. Powell flew into John Wayne Airport on Monday morning, where his dad, Mack, met him with Boog's truck. The outfielder stopped home for a few hours in the morning and grabbed lunch with some old friends before making the two-hour drive up to Lancaster for his Cal League debut.

Powell struck out in his first at-bat, frozen by a pitch on the inside corner. The left-handed hitter said he found his composure after that and anticipated a similar offering in his second at-bat. He guessed right, knocking his first Class A Advanced hit -- a single -- back up the middle in the fourth inning.

After grounding out in the sixth, Powell picked up another single in the eighth but was promptly picked off first by JetHawks reliever Kyle Westwood.

Powell was promoted to Stockton after hitting .335 with more walks (53) than strikeouts (49) with Class A Beloit. The 21-year-old earned Midwest League All-Star MVP honors last week with his family in attendance.

"That was just a great experience," Powell said. "I won that and then played three more games in Beloit, and then I came here. It's just great. I just have to keep working hard and hopefully, I'll keep moving up."

Powell was a 20th-round pick in the 2012 Draft out of Orange Coast College, about two hours south of Lancaster and not far from Mission Viejo. Though he was able to spend some time with family on Monday, the Powell clan wasn't able to make it to Lancaster for the game. He said he expects his family to watch him play at Bakersfield this weekend.

For now, a chance to play in his home state and a good first night of work had Powell riding as high as could be.

"I definitely feel a lot more comfortable out here than in the Midwest," he said. "Just overall, it was a great day."

A's No. 6 prospect Renato Nunez went 4-for-5 with a homer, three doubles, four RBIs and two runs scored for the Ports. The 20-year-old infielder is hitting .272 with 12 long balls and 19 doubles, including three homers in his past five games. Ryon Healy also had four hits -- all singles -- with two RBIs and two runs scored.

For Lancaster, Astros No. 10 prospect Rio Ruiz hit his seventh homer, a long three-run jack to center in the fourth inning.

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

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