Walker brings power bat to FSL Finals

Twins slugger homers in Game 1 of Championship Series for Miracle

Adam Brett Walker hit 25 homers and plated 94 runs in 132 regular-season games this year. (Cliff Welch/MiLB.com)

By Ashley Marshall / MiLB.com | September 5, 2014 12:29 AM

Adam Brett Walker was the Florida State League's home run king this season. Now he's looking for a ring to complete his regal look.

Walker went 3-for-4 with a solo homer as the host Fort Myers Miracle took Game 1 of the FSL Championship Series with a 5-1 victory over the Daytona Cubs at JetBlue Park on Thursday evening.

After striking out in the second inning, Minnesota's No. 13 prospect singled to center field to lead off the fourth and clubbed a long ball to left-center field to begin the sixth. He also added an RBI double to left in the seventh, leaving him a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

"In that at-bat, I was looking for something up over the plate," Walker said. "I was looking for a fastball and I ended up getting it. It was a 1-1 fastball and I tried to get the barrel to it. I didn't try to do too much and the ball went out of the park."

Batting seventh and serving as the Miracle's designated hitter, the 22-year-old hit a league-best 25 homers this year in his first trip through the Class A Advanced circuit. In 132 games, Walker batted .246 with a league-high 94 RBIs and 78 runs scored. Now he's setting his sights even higher and that starts with trying to take control of the playoff series by winning the first two games at home.

"Daytona has home-field advantage, so only having two games at home and being able to take the first one, we're ahead right now," said Walker, who won the league's Home Run Derby in June. "We have to keep pushing and get that second win tomorrow before we go on the road and try to win it in Daytona. It's a relief to win Game 1, but we have to make sure we keep pushing and finish strong."

Selected by the Minnesota Twins in the third round of the 2012 Draft out of Jacksonville University, Walker said he wasn't aware he was a three-bagger short of the cycle because he was more interested in the game result.

"Just happy I could help the team win and drive in some runs," he added. "Taking Game 1 is a big momentum shift for us. I'm feeling good and staying positive and just trying to take care of opportunities when they are given to me."

Fort Myers starter Matt Tomshaw allowed one run on six hits and two walks while striking out four batters over six innings.

Game 2 of the best-of-5 series will take place in Fort Myers at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday.

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

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