Kemp Leads Phoenix to AFL Title

Matt Kemp wanted the feeling of being on a championship team. Denied that in the Florida State League, he made absolutely sure of it in the Arizona Fall League as he put on an imposing display to climax an impressive season.

The Phoenix Desert Dogs defeated Surprise 9-3 in the AFL's title game Saturday and Kemp was the big reason. He was 4-for-4 with two of those driven out of the park. It was the type of showing that Kemp had done in this elite league where only the minor's best are invited for during the regular part of the campaign he hit .383 with three home runs.

He had been the leading force for Vero Beach over the summer to take that team into the playoffs but there they were eliminated in the first round. His teammate over the first half of that season was third baseman Andy LaRoche, who was a big contributor then and once more for this team.

LaRoche had a big fall, too, hitting .352, but hadn't produced even one for distance until this game when he hit his first. Still another Dodger, James Loney, was also a contributor as well, going 1-for-4. He, also, was finishing up a splendid fall in which he hit .332 with five home runs.

Tony Abreu failed to hit in three at-bats in the final game but also had a solid season, hitting .305 with one home run.

None of the three Dodger pitchers on the Phoenix squad saw action in this one. All finished 1-1 although only Eric Hull had a good ERA -- 3.51. Beau Dannemiller wound up with a 10.54 mark while Casey Hoorelbeke, who had joined the team in mid-season after Greg Miller was sidelined, finished with a 9.39 ERA.

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