Surprise combined a hitting clinic with some top notch pitching as they drubbed Salt River 10-2 at home.
Cardinals prospect Kevin Siegrist started and earned his first victory with three perfect frames, including five strikeouts. The southpaw had three groundouts, one fly out, three called strikeouts and two swinging K's on 36 pitches, 24 of them strikes. Sam Freeman tossed a scoreless ninth with two ground outs, a called strikeout and a two-out single, one of five hits allowed by five Saguaros pitchers.
Perry Van Hook was at the game and noted the following: "Siegrist looked very good in three shutout innings, hit 93 on his fastball and his slider/cutter had good movement." Freeman was throwing 94-95.
Siegrist departed with a lead thanks to a four-run third in which all three of St. Louis' game participants produced. Left fielder Mike O'Neill, hitting lead-off, began by beating out a grounder to short for an infield single. Second baseman Colin Walsh's double to left sent O'Neill to third and the latter raced home on Red Sox Bryce Brentz' sharp single to left that was deflected by the Rafters' third baseman. Rangers' prospect Chris McGuiness' second slam cleared the bases with three more tallies, all with none out. The inning's final hit was catcher Cody Stanley's one-out liner into the gap in right-center that bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double.
The Saguaros notched another run in the fourth when Walsh's second and final hit in five at bats was a line-drive double to center that plated shortstop Luis Sardinas (Texas). The second baseman was stranded at third after advancing on a wild pitch. Stanley led off the fifth with a walk and eventually scored when Sardinas ground into a double-play. O'Neill again singled to short which drove in another tally and gave him his only RBI of the contest. He stole second but was left there when Walsh grounded out.
Stanley was the fourth batter in the sixth and came to the plate with runners at first and second with one out. His ground ball single to right brought Brentz across to make the score 8-1. After Salt River answered with a tally in the top of the seventh, Surprise responded with two more in the bottom of the frame. O'Neill again singled on a sharp ground ball to short that was deflected by the Rafters' third baseman and eventually scored the squad's final run on a single by center fielder Cesar Puello of the Metropolitans.
O'Neill finished 3-for-6 with two runs scored, one RBI and one stolen base. Walsh had two doubles in five at-bats, with one run scored and one RBI. Stanley was on base three times in five plate appearances with a single, double and walk. He scored one and drove in one.
Sunday's game: The AFL does not play on Sundays.
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