Washington sophomore O’Koyea Dickson felt a bit bad about smashing the windshield of a passing car with a blast he hit clear out of USF’s practice field on Wednesday.
He had no such mixed feelings about smashing Lowell’s Academic Athletic Association championship hopes with another monstrous blast one day later.
In front of a stunned crowd of more than 500 fans at AT&T Park, Dickson pounded a 400-foot bomb 15 rows into the left-field bleachers, giving Washington a 4-1 lead in the second inning of the AAA title game Thursday. The Eagles never lost that lead en route to a 16-4 championship victory that was mercy-ruled after five innings.
"He’s the best sophomore in the league," Washington coach Rob Fung said matter-of-factly.
It is a hard theory to debunk.
Dickson went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks in the game and 3-for-3 with six runs and six RBIs over two playoff games. The first baseman’s homer was the first in the history of the league championship game at AT&T Park, but may not have even been Dickson’s longest drive of the inning.
After the Eagles hit through the order, Dickson sent a towering fly to the warning track in center field, bouncing it over the wall for a ground-rule double that gave Washington a 10-1 lead.
"My family and friends all wanted me to hit one out," he said. "It would have been nice to hit two, but I think I came through for them. It’s pretty cool to do it at AT&T."
If the AAA did see a better sophomore this season, he may have been playing shortstop for the opposing team. Even in defeat, Max Newman was a bright spot for the Cardinals, going 3-for-3 with a single, a double, a triple, a run and an RBI. Otherwise, Washington starter Mike Andrick held Lowell in check, limiting the hard-hitting Cardinals to nine hits in a complete-game victory.
That performance keeps Eagles co-ace Lorenzo Ubungen fresh for the Transbay Series between Washington and Skyline, which kicks off Monday at 3:30 p.m. at McAfee Coliseum — giving Dickson a chance to homer in his second major league park in a week.
Lowell 010 03 — 4 9 2
Washington 1(11)4 0x — 16 14 0
Jake Blanc, Gaston Guibert (2), Matt Ng (2), Evan Brydon (3) and Louis Buchbinder. Mike Andrick and Kenny Hwee. W—Andrick. L—Blanc.
Leading hitters: Max Newman (L) 3x3, Javy Padilla (L) 2x2, Mike Eng (W) 2x3, O’Koyea Dickson (W) 2x2, Dan Reznik (W) 2x3, Kenny Hwee (W) 2x4, James Pang (W) 2x2. HR: Dickson.