Nick has perfect night in Rafters' victory

Nick has perfect night in Rafters' victory

Nick has perfect night in Rafters' victory
David Nick picked a good time to hit his first Arizona Fall League home run.

The D-backs prospect launched a go-ahead solo shot in the eighth inning Friday, powering the first-place Salt River Rafters to a 7-6 victory over the Mesa Solar Sox.

"I was just looking for a pitch I could drive," said Nick, who went 4-for-4 with two RBIs. "I was taking some pretty good swings all night, I felt comfortable. He left one out over the plate and I took advantage of it."

Selected in the fourth round of the 2009 Draft, Nick batted .300 with 13 homers, 68 RBIs and 99 runs scored in 132 games at Class A Advanced Visalia this season. He also collected 35 doubles, five triples and five stolen bases.

In the AFL, Nick is hitting .310 with 13 runs scored in 19 games. He's struck out only nine times in 78 plate appearances.

"I just come to the ballpark trying to learn," he said. "I've been able to do a lot of hitting work with [hitting coach] Chris Cron of the Tigers. Just working on staying through the ball, pitch selection and everything you could possibly think of. I want to learn as much as I can. It's already paying off a little bit."

Nick doubled home Astros prospect Jake Goebbert to cap a four-run sixth and extend the Rafters' lead to 5-1.

The Solar Sox broke out for five runs in the seventh and reclaimed the lead. Brian Dozier (Twins) drew a bases-loaded walk before Joe Mahoney -- the Orioles' No. 3 prospect -- and Cubs shortstop Junior Lake contributed two-run singles.

Salt River tied it in the bottom of the frame as Ryan Wheeler (D-backs) doubled home Tim Wheeler (Rockies).

Ryan Wheeler finished with a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored, while Goebbert was 3-for-4, drove in three runs and scored twice.

Rockies right-hander Rob Scahill (2-0) got the win, despite allowing a run on two hits over 1 1/3 innings. Orioles southpaw Casey Lambert (0-1), the last of Mesa's six pitchers, was charged with two runs on three hits in two innings.

Salt River (20-13) moved 3 1/2 games in front of the second-place Solar Sox (16-16) and can clinch the East Division title and a spot in the Championship Game as early as Monday.

"We're really confident as a team," Nick said. "We're not going to try to change anything. We're going to go out there and play our game and see if anything good happens."

David Heck is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.