Trey Haley was throwing heat.
The in-stadium radar gun was routinely clocking his fastball at 98 miles per hour.
Haley took the mound for Columbus in the 12th inning as the Clippers and Buffalo Bisons were knotted 3-3.
But it didn’t matter that Haley was throwing hard. He wasn’t throwing accurate. And the Bisons took advantage of that.
With two outs, Josh Thole drew a walk. Then Jonathan Diaz. Then Munenori Kawasaki.
Dalton Pompey stepped to the plate, locked in and waited for his pitch. He then hit a line drive up the middle to score Thole and give the Bisons a 4-3 walk-off win in extra innings.
“I was just up there taking until I got a strike because the guy was kind of all over the place,” Pompey said of his at-bat. “Once that first strike went over the plate, I figured he was going to try and get ahead, 1-2, and I was just sitting on a fastball and he gave me one over the plate and I sent it back up the middle.
“I can lock it in. … I was waiting until he gave me a strike at least just because of how many guys he walked before and he wasn’t really throwing that many strikes, so I just tried to zone him in and even that pitch I hit I was trying to zone him in middle of the plate and he threw it middle.”
Give Pompey credit for being able to stay locked in during his at-bat. Haley had thrown eight straight balls to walk Thole and Diaz. He threw a first-pitch strike to Kawasaki, who fouled off a 2-1 pitch, before drawing the third walk.
“It’s tough to up there and hit when the pitcher on the mound is having trouble throwing strikes,” manager Gary Allenson said. “Because you get in the mindset where, ‘I don’t want to swing at a bad pitch here’ and you can’t have negative thoughts in the batter’s box.
“You just gotta stick with it. I played in a 27-inning game in the minor leagues where there were opportunities to score and both clubs couldn’t get it done until the 27th inning. It’s a game where I started out 2 for 3 and ended up 2 for 12. I came up a couple times with a chance to win the game, too and mentally I was there, physically I wasn’t. So it was a tough grind today.”
Pompey finished the game 1 for 5 while drawing two walks – one which started the Bisons three-run rally in the eighth.
“I was just trying to stick with my approach,” Pompey said of the walks he drew in the eighth and ninth. “I was just trying to get on base but for the most part it just depends on the situation, whether I’m going to swing or not going to swing, what I’m going to look for, what I’m not going to look. It’s thinking ahead in the game and it worked out.”
In his three games back with the Bisons after spending 31 games with Double-A New Hampshire, the 22-old outfielder is 4 for 13 with two runs scored and one RBI.