AFL Friday – Scorpions 4, Saguaros 3

Brian Walton reports on Cardinals prospects in Arizona Fall League action.

Friday night's Scottsdale Scorpions game featured an ending as exciting as any game I have seen in a long time. In the bottom of the ninth, the Scorpions took their only lead, defeating the Peoria Saguaros by a 4-3 score at Surprise Stadium. Their season record now sits at 14-13, good for first place in the Arizona Fall League's American Division.


It was a big night for Cardinals prospects, as two started the game in the field, later to be joined by three hurlers from the organization. Travis Hanson started at third base, hitting sixth and Cody Haerther batted eighth and played left field. Each played the entire nine innings.


Three Cardinals pitchers tossed the final five innings. Rich Scalamandre was first, followed by Andy Cavazos and the eventual winner, Cory Doyne.


Here's a summary of the game.


Scorpions second. Hanson flied out to right to end the inning.


Scorpions third. Haerther ground into a 4-3 putout.


Saguaros fifth. Scalamandre took over on the mound for starter Taylor Buchholz, from the Astros, who had allowed one run. Rich's pitches hit 93 MPH on the stadium gun. He allowed two singles that inning, but escaped via a 6-3 twin killing.


Scorpions fifth. Hanson ground out to the first baseman unassisted. The next hitter, Houston's Charlton Jimerson, fell awkwardly on his left leg when trying to leg out a hit and left the field for medical attention. Haerther ended the frame with a swinging strike three.


Saguaros sixth. An error and a single put runners on the corners with two out, but Scalamandre ended his night on a high note, fanning Pittsburgh's Adam Boeve swinging for the third out.


Scorpions sixth. Catcher Matt Tupman (Royals) collected the Scorpions' first hit, a solo home run that tied the game at one.


Saguaros seventh. Andy Cavazos took over as his offerings registered as high as 91 MPH. After a strikeout, he got into trouble, issuing two walks, followed by a two-run double that put the Saguaros back on top, 3-1. While a small consolation, Cavazos made a superb play backing up home as the runs scored, when the relay home flew over Tupman's head. Before getting an inning-ending strikeout, Cavazos hit Pittsburgh's Brad Eldred with a pitch. Mr. Eldred was most upset as a result, but took first base without incident.


Scorpions seventh. Hanson drew a leadoff walk and the next batter also took a free pass. After fouling off the first attempt, Haerther expertly bunted both players up. Another walk loaded the bases. Astro Josh Anderson popped out with one out and the sacks jammed. With Howie Kendrick at the plate, a wild pitch allowed Hanson to score. At this point, the Scorpions have just one hit on the evening.


Saguaros eighth. Cory Doyne also struck out his first hitter before allowing a harmless single.


Scorpions eighth. With the tying run at second and two out, Hanson fanned swinging.


Saguaros ninth. Doyne again fanned his first hitter and retired the next two, also.


Scorpions ninth. The tying run reached first as Philadelphia's Michael Bourn walked. However, he was picked off first base. Haerther stepped in and drew an important walk. A wild pitch put him at second and he scored from there when the second baseman threw wide of first as the batter reached via the error. With the winning run at second and one out, Anderson was intentionally walked to set up a possible double play. Kendrick shot a single to right-center. The runner from second was waived home, but would have been out, except that the Saguaros catcher did not handle the ball cleanly, dropping it. The winning run scored as the Saguaros streamed out of the dugout, led by the relieved Bourn. The line for the Saguaros was 4-4-3; four runs on four hits and three errors.



Hanson – 0-for-3 with a walk, run scored

Haerther – 0-for-2 with a walk, sacrifice, run scored

Scalamandre – 2 innings pitched, 3 hits, 1 strikeout

Cavazos – 1 inning pitched, 1 run, 1 hit, 2 walks, 1 hit-by-pitch, 2 strikeouts

Doyne (win) – 2 innings pitched, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts


Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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