Two early Solar Sox errors opened the door to a seven tallies in the third as the Rafters coasted to an 8-0 home win. Second-place Salt River (12-11) climbs to within 1 ½ games of Mesa (13-9) with the victory.
In his first start at the top of the order, Jacob Wilson excelled. The lead-off batter got it started by reaching on a fielding error by Mesa's shortstop and later scored the Rafters' first run when their first baseman threw the ball away in a force attempt that also allowed James Ramsey to reach. A single and ground out brought Ramsey to third from which point he was able to score easily on the first of Stephen Piscotty's two singles. Piscotty's grounder to left, deflected by Mesa's third baseman, was the third of four singles in the frame which was capped off by a two-run double by Wilson.
Wilson later added another double to go 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI. The second baseman was active in the field as well, taking part in two of his squad's four double plays. Piscotty also went 2-for-4, touched home once and knocked in one, playing right. Ramsey had a quiet night at the plate, going hitless in five at bats with a run scored.
Sam Gaviglio upped his record to 2-0 by shutting down his opponents over five innings. The Oregon native yielded a sharp liner to Ramsey in center to begin the game but erased that runner on a double play. He ran into trouble in the third when the first two runners reached on his only free pass issued plus a missed catch error by the Rafters' shortstop on a subsequent force attempt at second. Gaviglio came through with another double play ball.
Gaviglio was in the thick of things in the fourth when a ground out to first by the lead-off batter with the pitcher covering brought about an instant replay review. The play stood as called both then and at the start of the fifth when the Solar Sox' third baseman was credited with a single to right. Overall, Gaviglio allowed two hits and a walk with eight ground outs to two fly outs while fanning two.
Anthony Ferrara took the mound in the eighth and made quick work of Mesa's line-up. He fanned the numbers six and seven batters, one swinging and the other looking, finishing the frame with a line out to Ramsey.
In the debut of the MLB challenge system testing, a total of four were issued and all were upheld. The nationally-televised broadcast was not delayed appreciably by the actions.
Wednesday's game: at third-place Scottsdale (9-14), 8:08 pm CT, Drew Hutchison (TOR) (1-0, 0.57) – MLB Network
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