Arizona Fall League
Salt River Rafters 4, Surprise Saguaros 3
The Salt River Rafters were one of six Arizona Fall League teams to get underway today, with the first pitch occurring one minute prior to the Glendale Desert Dogs and the Peoria Javelinas. Peoria won that one, incidentally, by a 3-0 final count.
In the first at bat of the night, recent Jumbo Shrimp leadoff man Braxton Lee collected the first AFL hit of the short season, singling off of starter Sandy Alcantara (0-1, 13.50). Lee scored from the hot corner two batters later to give the Rafters a 1-0 lead over the Surprise Saguaros on a Brian Mundell double play ball.
In his other at bats through the afternoon contest, Lee grounded into a 3-6 force out in the second, lined into a double play to first base in the fourth, and got caught looking at reliever Tyler Jay’s strike three in the seventh to finish the game one-for-four. So it wasn’t all puppies and rainbows, but leadoff guy did what good leadoff guys do...score in the first inning.
Also getting in on the action was recent Baby Cake, shortstop Peter Mooney. Mooney came on to pinch hit with one out and a man on second in the sixth inning, and promptly singled to center field to score teammate Lucas Erceg for Salt River’s eventual game-winning run. Unfortunately, Mooney ran himself out of it by getting cut down trying for second on the play. Mooney grounded into a 4-3 out to lead off the ninth to close his night for the Rafters.
443 were on hand at Surprise Stadium to see the season opener, and the two clubs will travel to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick to reprise their matchup, tomorrow at 6:35PM MST.
There were two across the Marlins organization. Brad Ziegler, with the parent club, celebrated his 38th. Isaac Galloway, who just completed his 10th season in Miami’s minor league system, turns 28.