The first inning of the Mesa Solar Sox-Peoria Javelinas game got off to a loud start. Second batter of the game, David Bote of the Cubs, crushed a ball to the very top of the birm just in front of the scoreboard in left field. Sheldon Neuse of the A’s knocked another home run off the batter’s eye in center after Kyle Tucker reached on a walk.
Bote also played very good defense at second, showing soft hands and solid range while turning one very impressive double play that took him towards the first base side of the field.
Walker Lockett of the Padres was the pitcher that gave up both shots and settled down after that but only lasted three innings, giving up the three runs on the two home runs while also allowing one other hit, while walking two (both to Tucker) and striking out four.
Astros prospect Framber Valdez got the start for Mesa, also going three innings allowing just one base runner (a single to Lourdes Gurriel) and striking out two. Fellow Astros pitcher Dean Deetz came in for the fourth and gave up a two run opposite field home run to the Padres Josh Naylor that bounced off and over the top of the wall.
Kyle Tucker finally got to swing the bat in the fifth, with an opo-triple on a poorly played ball by left fielder Franmil Reyes (Padres) that scored Bote who reached on a single off the tip of Gurriel’s glove.
Behind the plate for the Solar Sox was Nationals prospect Taylor Guthrie. While only going 0-4 at the plate, he did throw out two of three would be base stealers with a best pop time of 2.01.
In the end it was Mesa coming out on top 4-2 behind the 2-3-4 hitters in Bote, Tucker, and Neuse. The Solar Sox had 5 pitchers combine to strike out eight while the four Javelinas pitchers struck out eleven.
This moves both teams 2-2 in the first week of the season with Peoria hosting Salt River on Saturday and Mesa traveling back to the West Valley to take on the Glendale Desert Dogs.