PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow took it back to his high school playing days on Thursday night in his game with the St. Lucie Mets.Tebow slugged a walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh inning -- the first walk-off of his professional career --
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow took it back to his high school playing days on Thursday night in his game with the St. Lucie Mets.
Tebow slugged a walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh inning -- the first walk-off of his professional career -- to give the Class A Advanced Mets affiliate a 5-4 win over the Daytona Tortugas to complete a sweep of a doubleheader between the two Florida State League clubs.
Starting as the designated hitter in his 16th game with St. Lucie after being promoted from the Columbia Fireflies late last month, Tebow slugged a first-pitch fastball from Reds farmhand Austin Orewiler down the left-field line with one out in the seventh.
The high shot cleared the fence about 20 feet inside the foul pole, thrilling the 2,667 fans -- plenty of them wearing the famous No. 15 of the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner. His teammates raced to home plate from the dugout and the bullpen, as he reached crossed home with the winning run.
Fellow Florida Gators alum Peter Alonso won game one of the doubleheader with a solo shot in St. Lucie's 1-0 victory to open the twin-bill, but Alonso fouled out to the catcher to open the seventh, setting up Tebow's heroics.
Tebow has shown a propensity for working the count in his brief time in the FSL -- he has drawn six walks -- but he found a pitch that he went after early in the at-bat.
"It depends on the pitcher, maybe it's a guy I should be aggressive on. It depends where we are in the game," said Tebow of his third home run.
The walk-off homer was his first since his junior year of prep baseball at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, just south of Jacksonville. He didn't play his senior year so he could concentrate on football.
"[The high school homer] was for the district championship. That felt pretty good, but this one was special," said Tebow.
"It was fun to celebrate with all the guys."
The homer also extended the 29-year-old's hitting streak to 11 games. The left-hander is now batting .327 with three homers and 10 RBIs with St. Lucie.
In all, he has six homers in his first Minor League season -- three at each stop.
All three of his homers in Florida have been hit to the opposite field.
"The goal is just to stay behind as many balls as I can. See it, let it get deep. When you stay behind it, it goes the other way," Tebow said.
Bill Whitehead is a contributor to MLB.com.