A.J. Alexy wasn't intimidated on Thursday night.
The 16th-ranked Rangers prospect tossed six hitless frames to match his longest outing of the season before Class A Hickory walked off with a 2-1, 12-inning win over Kannapolis at L.P. Frans Stadium. He struck out seven and issued a pair of walks.
Gameday box score
The 20-year-old has given up one hit and five walks while fanning 15 over 11 scoreless innings in his last two starts.
"I've put in work on my mentality and how I start games," Alexy told MiLB.com last month after a rough April. "It's all about how I take my pregame 'pen to the mound. Some days, the lights are on, but I just have a rough outing, and some days are completely the opposite. But I'm getting stronger there."
Alexy faced one batter over the minimum and set the Intimidators down in order in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
After a leadoff walk to cleanup hitter Craig Dedelow in the second, the right-hander struck out Anthony Villa on six pitches. A passed ball and errant pickoff attempt put Dedelow at third base with one out, but Alexy escaped by retiring White Sox No. 28 prospect Justin Yurchak on a popup to third and got Carlos Perez off-balance with a changeup that resulted in a routine grounder to short.
The 2016 11th-round pick got two outs on 10 pitches to start the third, getting Johan Cruz to fly to center and 23rd-ranked Luis Curbelo to bounce to third. But after a four-pitch walk to White Sox No. 18 prospect Luis Gonzalez, Alexy worked the count to 1-1 against third-ranked Luis Robert when he picked off Gonzalez at first to end the inning.
"I struggle with the mental part of baseball," Alexy said in May. "It's all about staying positive."
Rangers No. 9 prospect Pedro Gonzalez led off the bottom of the first with his fifth homer of the season, sending a 1-0 fastball from right-hander Blake Battenfield over the left-center field fence. Kannapolis tied it in the eighth as Cruz singled home Yurchak with one out.
Rangers No. 24 prospect Sam Huff started the 10th on second as the designated runner and, after Kole Enright sacrificed, Tyler Ratliff made Jose Nin (2-2) pay for an 0-1 mistake over the plate as he hammered a line drive to left.
Joe Barlow (2-1) picked up the win with a hitless 12th, striking out two and walking one.