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Cubs prospect Ian Happ leads Mesa Solar Sox to AFL title

Chicago Cubs prospect Ian Happ led the Mesa Solar Sox to a victory over the Surprise Saguaros.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Scottsdale, Ariz.––On Saturday, the Mesa Solar Sox and Surprise Saguaros competed for the Arizona Fall League title in the 25th annual championship game at Scottsdale Stadium.

Strong pitching from Oakland A’s prospects Dylan Covey and Frankie Montas, combined with the strong offensive performances of Marlins No. 4 prospect, Brian Anderson and Cubs No. 1 prospect, Ian Happ, set the Solar Sox up for a 6-1 victory over the Saguaros.

After action from the bats of the Indians No. 19 prospect, Greg Allen and Happ to start the Solar Sox off in the bottom of the first, Anderson came up to the plate, hitting cleanup for the Solar Sox.

"Once guys start squaring the ball up and gaining more confidence, you just want to go up there and help out as much as you can," said Anderson.

The 23-year-old took the first pitch he saw from Surprise starter Eric Stout (Royals) over the left field wall for a three-run homer, giving Mesa an early lead that they maintained for the entirety of the ballgame.

Anderson leads the Fall League in home runs with a total of five throughout the regular season.

The remainder of Mesa’s runs were the product of Happ, MLB’s No. 21 prospect. The switch-hitter delivered from both sides of the plate for a pair of homeruns: a two-run bomb to right-center field in the third and a solo shot to left in the seventh.

"It was an awesome experience to be able to play with guys from other organizations. Getting more reps and playing at this level of competition really helps out. It feels good to get this win, to come out, play hard and have a good one today," said Happ.

The pitching combination of A’s No. 20 prospect, Dylan Covey and No. 10, Frankie Montas proved successful for Mesa against Surprise on Nov. 1 when the duo played a part in a combined no-hitter.

Covey, who pitched 5 of those perfect innings, started the game for Mesa on Saturday, pitching four perfect frames before giving up a walk and a hit to Jose Trevino, the Rangers No. 20 prospect. The right-hander allowed one run in five innings, accounting for three strikeouts.

Montas, who came in for relief in the top of the 6th, struck out five batters in three dominant innings and James Farris (Cubs) pitched a perfect final inning.

"Once you make it to the championship and realize you’re only going to be here for a couple more days after the long season, you really want to go home with something in your hands. We’re going to end up going home with the ring," said Anderson.