The Rafters managed only three hits on Thursday but they maximized them as they edged Scottsdale 3-2 at home. Salt River (19-12) finished the season on an upswing, winning seven straight and 15 of their last 18 to finish in second, a half game behind Mesa.
Scottsdale took an early lead with a third-inning run off Aaron Sanchez (W, 2-1) who scattered six hits and two walks through five. The Blue Jays' prospect fanned three and threw a wild pitch.
Salt River responded with a tally in the fourth, gaining an advantage with two more in the fifth. Stephen Piscotty was responsible for two of his squad's three runs, scoring one and driving in another. The right fielder worked a one-out free pass in the fourth, advanced to third on a double and tied the game up on a ground out.
Piscotty came back up in the fourth with his team up 2-1 on catcher Dustin Garneau's (COL) fourth long ball of the fall season. With runners on first and second, the 22-year-old lined a single to center that made the score 3-1.
He ended with a .371/.430/.506/.936 mark, good for fourth in the league in batting average and eighth in slugging percentage. Piscotty was the second youngest player among the four leaders in both categories and his 89 at bats was tops among the top four in batting average by nine, 19 and 20 at bats respectively.
Southpaw Mike Montgomery (TB) faced the minimum in the sixth and seventh, giving way to Lee Stoppelman for the eighth. Stoppelman yielded the Scorpions' second tally with a base-on-balls issued to the lead off batter coming back to bite him.
That runner advanced to second on a soft 2-3 ground out but remained there when the lefty got Scottsdale's ninth place hitter to fly out to James Ramsey in left. A sharp ground ball single to second brought the runner across but the inning finished when the new base runner was nailed attempting to steal second. Arizona's Jake Barrett worked around two two-out singles in the ninth for his fourth save.
Ramsey returned to form by reaching base in two of three plate appearances. The Georgia native, who celebrates his 24th birthday next month, struck out swinging to end the second but got on in his subsequent trips to the plate. Ramsey walked to load the bases in the fourth and lead off the sixth with another base-on-balls.
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