So Long, Arizona – Scorpions Lose Final

Saturday: Phoenix Desert Dogs 9, Surprise Scorpions 3

Three Cardinal farmhands appeared in the Arizona Fall League's Championship Game Saturday afternoon. In the contest, which was scoreless through five innings, the Surprise Scorpions eventually fell to the Phoenix Desert Dogs by a 9-3 score.


Third baseman Travis Hanson batted third while left fielder Cody Haerther hit in the seventh spot. Reliever Rich Scalamandre pitched in the eighth inning.


Hanson and pitcher Chris Lambert move over to Team USA, who play their first exhibition game against Canada on Sunday. The other five Cardinals AFL players head home for the winter. They are Gabe Johnson, Haerther, Cory Doyne, Scalamandre and Andy Cavazos.


Here's how the youngsters fared Saturday:


Scorpions first: Hanson tripled to right with two down, but was stranded.


Scorpions second: Haerther fanned for the third out of the inning.


Scorpions fourth: Hanson fanned swinging for the second out.


Dogs fourth: Haerther was charged with a fielding error on Matt Kemp's single to left. Kemp did not score. In fact, Hanson threw him out at the plate as he tried to come home on a fielders' choice grounder.


Scorpions fifth: Haerther singled to center with two out, but did not advance.


Scorpions seventh: Hanson led off with a 5-3 ground out. Corey Smith pinch hit for Haerther and made the final out of the inning.


Dogs seventh: Smith, usually a third baseman, stayed in the game to play in right, as the right fielder moved to left for Haerther. Smith almost immediately committed an error. That runner eventually scored. Hanson was busy at third, recording the first and second outs of the inning. One was a force out on former Cardinals property Daric Barton, while the other was on a caught stealing.


Dogs eighth: The game got away, as the Dogs scored five. Hanson committed a throwing error, which I believe was his first in the AFL. That runner ended up scoring. Scalamandre took over with three runs in and a runner at first. He started off strong, inducing a double play. However, after Barton singled, Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered to left to make the score 9-1. Scalamandre allowed another single before collecting the third out.


Scorpions ninth: Hanson was pinch-hit for with one on and no out. Wade Robinson flied out. Their teammates did score two runs to make the final mark 9-3.


Cardinals summary:

Hanson: 1-for-3 with a triple, strikeout, error.

Haerther: 1-for-2, strikeout, error.

Scalamandre: One inning pitched, three hits, two earned runs, one home run allowed.

Final AFL regular season league stats here.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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