Sams' third homer is a game-winner

Mariners prospect hits second walk-off blast in eight days

Kalian Sams signed with the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent in 2006. (Paul R. Gierhart/

By Dan Tomasino / Special to | April 16, 2010 9:40 PM ET

To hear Kalian Sams tell it, Quad Cities right-hander Aaron Terry didn't stand a chance.

When Sams strode to the plate in the bottom of the 11th inning of a tie game, he knew the two homers he'd hit earlier Friday night were just the prologue.

"I saw it coming in the on-deck circle," Sams said. "I knew I was gonna get it. I felt it."

Sams drilled Terry's pitch over the center-field wall for his third solo shot of the game to give the Clinton LumberKings an 11-10 victory. It was the second walk-off homer of the young season for Sams and capped an impressive comeback by Clinton, which trailed by eight runs in the third inning.

Sams' other homers came in the second and eighth innings. Dennis Raben also went deep for the LumberKings, while Brandon Bantz was 3-for-4 with three RBIs. But Sams was the hero with a Reggie Jackson-like performance.

"It feels awesome," said Sams, who finished 3-for-6. "We worked real hard to come back. I've had two-home run games but never three. We were talking about that the other day, joking about that."

No one is joking about Sams' power at the plate. The 23-year-old from The Netherlands leads the Minor Leagues with six homers in nine games. He also has 11 RBIs and a .343 batting average.

Sams believes he can produce like this all season.

"Definitely," he said. "I'm seeing the ball good right now, and just [want to] keep it going."

The Mariners signed Sams as a non-drafted free agent in July 2006. He played only 20 games across two levels last season and hit .208 with four homers and 12 RBIs before undergoing surgery to repair the hook of the hamate bone in his left hand.

Dan Tomasino is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More