Homza hits first playoff home run – a grand slam, no less
He had been hitless in the postseason and was dropped in the batting order, yet Jonny Homza of Anchorage kept his head high.
Then he went out and delivered the biggest hit of his professional career.
The Tri-Valley Dust Devils catcher hit a grand slam in the first inning to highlight a 9-1 victory over the Hillsboro Hops in Game 2 of the Class A Northwest League championship series.
Homza, of South High fame, has four career home runs in three pro seasons. But this was the first bomb as a Class A player; the other three came in the Arizona Rookie League.
The homer was his first playoff base hit and snapped an 0-for-8 start to his first postseason.
Homza is now 4-for-10 with seven RBIs in first-inning at-bats this season.
He usually bats in the middle of the order, but was moved down to the No. 8 spot in the NWL championship series after going hitless in the semifinal series.
He didn’t pout – he pounded a home run.
Homza has been nothing short of spectacular since turning pro on his 18th birthday, the same day the San Diego Padres made him their 138th draft pick – the second-highest overall MLB selection from Alaska.
The Padres moved him from infielder to catcher; hardly an easy transition for a position with equipment dubbed ‘tools of ignorance.’
But he made it work and after two years of rookie ball was promoted to Class A, where he threw out a career-high 18 baserunners and smacked a career-high 14 doubles.