Andy Yerzy hadn't hit a home run in nearly a month. The drought ended in dramatic fashion on Saturday night. The D-Backs prospect smacked a three-run walk-off blast in the ninth inning to give Hillsboro a stunning 5-3 victory over Tri-City in Game 1 of the best-of-5 Northwest League Championship Series
Andy Yerzy hadn't hit a home run in nearly a month. The drought ended in dramatic fashion on Saturday night.
The D-Backs prospect smacked a three-run walk-off blast in the ninth inning to give Hillsboro a stunning 5-3 victory over Tri-City in Game 1 of the best-of-5 Northwest League Championship Series at Ron Tonkin Field.
"For me, it's been kind of a tough year at the plate, so it was awesome for me to contribute," Yerzy said. "From a team standpoint, we have a real close team here and we've been saying since day one that we're going to win a championship because we are the best team in the league."
The Dust Devils took a 3-1 lead in the top of the ninth on an RBI double by Jack Stronach. But Tri City southpaw Dan Dallas hit Dominic Canzone with one out in the bottom half and walked D-backs No. 18 prospectLiover Peguero and third-ranked Corbin Carroll on full counts. Jesus Marriaga greeted Tom Colletti (0-1) with a sacrifice fly to center field that trimmed the Hops' deficit to a run.
"I was thinking I was going to see a first-pitch fastball from [Colletti] after he threw a lot of sliders to Marriaga the at-bat before," Yerzy said of what was going through his mind when he came up in the ninth. "My intentions was to swing hard, hit it far and not to miss it."
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With two on and two outs, the longest tenured player in Hops history with 132 games, pulled the first pitch over the right field fence to set off a raucous celebration. It was his first dinger since Aug. 9.
"We always joke around about me spending nearly my entire Minor League career here," Yerzy said. "I would have been excited if anyone else hit the homer, but it was definitely a special moment for me."
Brennan Malone (1-0) picked up the win, despite giving up a run on two hits in the ninth.
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After Dust Devils right-hander Ignacio Feliz (0-0) retired the first seven batters he faced -- three via strikeouts -- Yerzy became the first Hop to reach base on an error by first basman Jason Pineda. The 21-year-old Canadian was caught stealing second as Reinaldo Ilarraza fired a strike to shortstop Jordy Barley.
Feliz got Yerzy to fly to field in his second plate appearance in the sixth inning. He made up for it in the eighth by lacing a double to right against right-hander Seth Mayberry.
"I flew out to probably the deepest part of the field on a fastball in the at-bat before," Yerzy said. "I knew 3-1, I was getting a breaking ball so I figured [Mayberry] would throw it again. He hung it and I got the barrel to it and hit it pretty good."
Yerzy took third when Ryan January fouled out to right, then scored the Hops' first run on a base hit by Ricky Martinez.
Feliz yielded one hit and struck out seven over six scoreless innings, facing two batters over the minimum. Batterymate Logan Driscoll snapped a scoreless tie with a sacrifice fly in the sixth and Nick Gatewood homered in the seventh to give the Dust Devils a 2-0 lead.
The series continues Sunday in Hillsboro.
Dan Stokes is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByDanStokes.