It took the Asheville Tourists more than three hours to roll past the Augusta GreenJackets on Friday. As far as Corey Dickerson is concerned, that wasn't nearly long enough.
Dickerson tied the 33-year-old South Atlantic League record with 10 RBIs, homering three times in the Tourists' 13-5 romp at McCormick Field.
The Rockies prospect got his record-setting night started inauspiciously, lifting a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first. Two innings later, he slugged a three-run homer to put Asheville ahead for good, 5-3.
Dickerson continued his rampage with another sacrifice fly in the fourth and a two-run blast in the sixth. He launched another three-run shot in the seventh to tie the mark set by former Tourist James Barbe on April 22, 1978.
"Today I felt good in batting practice, I didn't take any extra swings," Dickerson said. "The first at-bat of the game, I was trying to help the team and I hit a sac fly. The rest of the time, they got behind in the count and I was looking for the fastball."
Already with two homers and seven RBIs before his final plate appearance, Dickerson wasn't expecting to get a shot to swing the bat, let alone get a chance to tie a decades-old record.
"I went up there patient because I didn't think they would give me good pitch to hit," he said. "They made a mistake and I just put a good swing on it."
The 22-year-old left fielder had never driven in more than four runs or hit more than one homer in a game since the Rockies selected him in the eighth round of the 2010 Draft.
"I've had multi-homer games in college but nothing like this, not 10 RBIs," Dickerson said. "I feel really good, I wish I was still out there. After I got in the dugout, everybody gave me a curtain call. I felt really blessed and in the moment. It was really awesome."
Dickerson's big game vaulted him toward the top of the league leaders. He's tied for third with 12 homers and ranks seventh with a .994 OPS. After a slow start to the season, he slugged .677 in May.
"I just [have to] focus on being patient and working hard every day," said Dickerson, who earned Pioneer League postseason All-Star honors last summer. "If you have a good approach, the hits will come to you. Just work hard and it will pay off. Don't change anything, don't go to the plate looking for home runs, just be patient and work hard."
Bryce Massanari reached base four times and scored three runs, while Chandler Laurent was 2-for-2 with three RBIs for the Tourists.