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2014 Minor League Ball AFL Gameday, November 14th

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Welcome to the Arizona Fall League Gameday!

Reds/Saguaros RHP Nick Howard from his days at U of Virginia.
Reds/Saguaros RHP Nick Howard from his days at U of Virginia.
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the Minor League Ball AFL Gameday. Be sure to check out all the stats from yesterday's action in the link below along with the Game Recaps, Velocity Reports, Performances of the Day, Probable Starters, and Standings further down. John released the Atlanta Braves Top 20 Prospects earlier this week with the Kansas City Royals next on the list, followed by the World Champion San Francisco Giants. The "Library" section in the toolbar above has been updated to include the 2015 Top Prospect series and the Community Prospect List, along with a link to pre-order the sure to be amazing 2015 Baseball Prospect Book.

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Minor League Ball AFL Gameday

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Game Recaps from Tuesday, November 13th

Mesa 4 - Glendale 4 (11 innings)

With both team out of playoff contention, the Solar Sox and Desert Dogs ended in a 4-4 stalemate after 11 frames. 2B/LF Jon Berti (MSS) did his part with a 3-5 performance including a three run homer, two singles and a walk with two runs scored and a stolen base to boot. 1B Dan Vogelbach (MSS) added an RBI double and a walk to account for all the scoring on the Mesa side. C Spencer Kieboom (MSS) and 3B Danny Lockhart (MSS) each singled twice for the Sox as well. Glendale was led offensively by a solo shot from C Mike Ohlman (GDD) and two hit days from SS Tim Anderson (GDD) and LF Garabez Rosa (GDD). Anderson scored once and stole a base while punching out three times and Rosa also struck out twice. 2B Darnell Sweeney (GDD) singled and stole a base atop the lineup with a run scored, two strike out and two errors as well. CF Tyrone Taylor (GDD) also swiped a bag after going 1-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Both starting pitchers went five innings and were each roughed up to varying degrees. LHP Sean Nolin (MSS) fared slightly better than his opposition as he allowed three runs on six hits with seven punch outs and no walks. He also surrendered the gopher ball to Ohlman while LHP Wei-Chung Wang (GDD) was tagged for four runs on six hits and no walks, striking out three. Wang was also taken deep by Berti and kept the ball on the ground for the most part, inducing eight ground outs to just two fly outs. RHP Drew Granier (MSS) was hit with the blown save after allowing a run to score on three hits in one inning of work.

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Peoria 5 - Surprise 2

This was the game to watch as the winner would be crowned the West Division champs and secure themselves a spot in Saturday's championship game. The Javelinas put up a three spot in the middle innings and added a pair of insurance runs in the 9th with a two-run blast from C Justin O'Conner (PEJ). O'Conner also singled and scored twice in the game while 2B Breyvic Valera (PEJ) kicked in two singles and an RBI. LF Kes Carter (PEJ) doubled and singled with a run driven in and a strike out with 3B Hunter Dozier (PEJ) singling twice and scoring both times on base. SS Raul Mondesi (PEJ) kicked in a single, strike out, and his sixth error booting a grounder. RF Hunter Renfroe (SUR) did all he could, hitting a solo shot and adding two singles but it was to no avail. CF Mallex Smith (SUR) singled and stole a base, also drawing a walk, scoring a run, and striking out. DH Jace Peterson (SUR) drove in the only other run with a single.

RHP Aaron Northcraft (PEJ) maneuvered through the Surprise line up well, allowing just three hits in five innings with four punch outs without surrendering a free pass. He also gave up the homer to Renfroe and earned his second win. Organization mate RHP Brandon Cunniff (PEJ) threw a scoreless ninth with a strike out and a hit allowed to get his third save of the AFL. RHP Nick Howard (SUR) was even better though, allowing just two hits in four innings, striking out five with no walks or runs crossing the plate. LHP Brandon Alger (SUR) took the loss by giving up three runs on five hits while registering just two outs.

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Scottsdale 8 - Salt River 5

With the Rafters already securing a place in the Championship Game, they took on the Scorpions and the starting pitching was hammered; all 13 runs in the game scored before the 5th inning even began. 3B Dante Bichette Jr (SCO) singled three times with a pair of runs driven in and a strike out for Scottsdale. RF Aaron Judge (SCO) and 1B Greg Bird (SCO) had nearly identical lines with both players scoring twice, driving in one and hitting a double and a single with Bird also kicking in a walk. C Elias Diaz (SCO) kept busy with a single and two walks, stealing his only base of the AFL while also making a throwing error and backpicking a runner at first. SS Kelby Tomlinson (SCO) also walked twice and stole a base, scoring once with an RBI, strike out, and his third error. SS Justin Bohn (SRR) reached base three times for the Rafters, knocking a triple and a single with a walk, run scored, strike out and his fourth error. 2B Taylor Featherston (SRR) also reached three times, drawing a walk and singling twice with a stolen base, run scored, and he also drove in one. 1B Ryan Casteel (SRR) doubled and scored with a sac fly while LF Joe Sclafani (SRR) singled, doubled, and scored once with a pair of strike outs.

Neither starter factored in the decision despite both getting poor results. RHP Archie Bradley (SRR) gave up three runs on five hits and three walks, striking out just one in 2.2 innings. LHP Joely Rodriguez (SCO) only lasted an inning longer, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk with three punch outs. RHP Ryan O'Sullivan (SCO) got the win after tossing 1.1 scoreless frames while scattering a hit and a walk with no strike outs. RHP Kyle Haynes (SCO) saved it up for them with a perfect 9th, retiring the side in order without punching anyone out. RHP Jason Adam (SRR) took the loss after being torched for five runs (two earned) in an inning of work, walking one and giving up four hits with one strike out.

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Velocity Reports

Surprise -

Player FB CB SL CH CUT
Nick Howard 90-95 75-78 82-85 85-87 -
Brandon Alger* 89-90 76-77 76 80 87-88
Carlos Gonzalez 88-90 - 80-81 78-83 -
Aaron Kurcz 91-94 78-80 79 85-87 94
Josh McElwee 87-88 79 78-81 80 -

* denotes a left handed pitcher

Peoria -

Player FB CB SL CH
Aaron Northcraft 87-92 - 77-79 82
Daniel Stumpf* 91-94 - 80-81 -
Ali Williams 92-94 - 80-84 82-84
Nate Hyatt 92-93 81 81-82 85
Sam Selman* 92 - 80 -
Brandon Cunniff 93-94 - 81-83 82

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Hitting Performance of the Day -

Jon Berti (2B/LF - Mesa) 3/5, HR (3), 3 RBI (8), SB (6), 2 R, BB

jon berti

Photo Credit - Bryan Green

Pitching Performance of the Day -

Nick Howard (RHP - Surprise) 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 5:1 GO:FO

nick howard

Photo Credit - Doug Dirt/RedsMinorLeagues.com

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Probable Starters

No games scheduled for today.

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Standings

East Division
Team W L T GB
Salt River 17 11 4 -
Mesa 15 14 2 2.5
Scottsdale 12 20 0 7

West Division
Team W L T GB
Peoria * 15 14 3 -
Surprise 16 15 1 -
Glendale 14 15 2 1.5

*  - won tiebreaker 3-2 h2h