Results from the Arizona Fall League regular-season finale played on Thursday, November 17th.
A three-run second lifted second-place Glendale (17-15) past Peoria, 3-1. However, a win by first-place Surprise eliminated the Desert Dogs from the West Division championship race on the last day of the regular season.
Four of the Dogs’ eight hits, and all three of their extra-base knocks, occurred in that second frame. Glendale got on the board with back-to-back doubles by first baseman Cody Bellinger (LAD) and second baseman Nick Tanielu (HOU). Harrison Bader’s single put runners at the corners for catcher Garrett Stubbs (HOU), who brought Tanielu across via a sac fly, the inning’s first out. Left fielder Courtney Hawkins (CWS) doubled in Bader, driving Javelinas’ starter Barrett Astin (L, 0-1) (CIN). His replacement recorded two straight outs, one of them Paul DeJong on a 4-3 ground out.
Bader’s single was his only hit in four at bats. The right fielder popped out in foul ground in the fourth, ground out, 5-3, to begin the seventh and again popped out in foul ground, this time with two aboard in the ninth.
DeJong, who batted ninth, singled once in three at bats. The shortstop followed up his ground out by flying out to center in the fifth. He singled to center to open the eighth but was erased from the base paths on a play indicating both a pick off and a caught stealing.
The final St. Louis prospect to see action was designated hitter Carson Kelly, the number three batter. Kelly was hitless in three at bats with a base-on-balls. He served as a rally killer in the game, twice grounding into double plays – ending the first and eight innings, respectively. When Kelly did reach base on a walk with one game in the third, Bellinger hit into a double play.
Houston top prospect right-hander Francis Martes (W, 2-1) finished his Arizona Fall League stint on a strong note, striking out seven over five scoreless frames. Righty Joe Broussard (LAD) made things interesting in the ninth after putting two on via a two-out single and hit batsman but managed to pick up his fifth save.
What is next: Surprise will take on East Division winner Mesa in the AFL Championship Game, to be televised on MLB Network on Saturday afternoon. The seven Cardinals prospects in the league will be heading home for the off-season. TCN members should look for our weekly Winter Ball Hitters and Pitchers Reports coming this weekend. Included will be AFL wrap ups on all seven Cardinals. Of course, we will also cover the Rule 5 - 40-man roster decisions coming on Friday.
Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cardinals Arizona Fall League Prospect Interview: Rowan Wick
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