As Alex Dickerson stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning Friday with the potential winning run on second base, he reminded himself not to try to do too much. If he just got the ball through to the outfield, he reasoned, Mason Williams would probably be able to score.
So Dickerson kept it simple. Facing left-hander Mike Thomas, Dickerson slapped a fastball through the left side of the infield. Williams raced home with the winning run and Scottsdale defeated Glendale, 2-1, in 10 innings at Scottsdale Stadium.
"I thought just a nice, small swing ought to just get the job done," Dickerson said. "He threw back-to-back fastballs and I just chopped one the other way and it ended up working out."
Dickerson, the Pirates' No. 13 prospect, was 0-for-4 Friday before his game-winning hit. Though he is on a five-game hitting streak and hitting .292, he said he is still getting comfortable at the plate in the Arizona Fall League.
"I had a couple tough at-bats against really good pitching and I didn't come through up to that point," Dickerson said. "I didn't feel great and haven't for the last couple weeks. But you always have a shot when you're in the box."
There were plenty of tough at-bats for both teams Friday night. The two teams combined to strike out 20 times and had only two extra base hits.
Glendale starter Alex Meyer,, ranked No. 31 on MLB.com's Top 100 prospects list, allowed one run in three innings. He struck out three batters and walked one.
"Obviously, he was lights out tonight," Dickerson said. "I had heard about him when he was in college at Kentucky and heard a lot of good things."
Left fielder Robby Hefflinger hit a solo home run off Meyer in the second inning and finished the night 2-for-3 with a walk. For much of the game, it looked like Hefflinger's blast might be all the offense the Scorpions would need.
But Glendale tied the game in the seventh inning. Center fielder Jared Mitchell, the White Sox No. 10 prospect, drew a two-out walk and advanced to second when right-hander Matt Benedict threw wildly on a pickoff attempt. Catcher Tucker Barnhart followed with an RBI double to knot the score at one. Barnhart went 2-for-4 and was one of three Desert Dogs with two hits.
Glendale could not scratch out another run against the Scottsdale pitching staff, which was led by starter Phil Irwin. He was only added to the Scorpions roster this week, replacing injured right-hander Jameson Taillon. Irwin allowed one hit and struck out three batters in three scoreless innings.
For the second time this season, the Desert Dogs went to extra innings and didn't get a victory. Glendale also tied Mesa in 11 innings on Opening Day.
But extra innings were no trouble for Scottsdale. Dickerson said they made the win even sweeter.
"When you go to extras, you want to make it worth something," Dickerson said. "If you're going to play extra baseball for free, you might as well get the W."