Yesterday, I attended the Surprise Saguaros vs. Scottsdale Scorpions game at the Scorpions home base , Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
Four Orioles started for the Saguaros — Rylan Bannon at 3rd, Mason McCoy at 2nd, T.J. Nichting at DH and Alex Wells pitching. Dean Kremer relieved Wells to start the 4th inning.
Overall, the game featured strong pitching and some of the worst fielding gaffs that I’ve witnessed at an AFL game — including a run scoring from second base while the Scorpions’ pitcher, catcher and first baseman surrounded a pop fly and watched it plop safely fair about 20 feet up the first base line.
Bannon — hitless in 4 at-bats; one hard hit ball, liner to medium center field; weak grounder to 3rd for a force out; pop fly to second baseman; struck out missing a low outside fastball strike; my impression remains that he is a patient hitter with good plate awareness and coverage
McCoy — notable batting stance, sort of leans back with knees strongly bent forward; no hard hit balls, a couple of infield grounders, foul tip fastball 3rd strike, and a walk on a 3-2 fastball well outside; started a 4-6-3 double play.
Nichting — switch hitter, batted left 4 times; looked a bit overmatched; a couple of weak grounders to first, late on a 3rd strike fast ball, drew an easy walk.
Wells — impressive; simple windup, rocks from the waist; pitched ahead; 3 pitches for strikes; fastball – 89 and 90, breaking ball 83-85, change (excellent) 72-74; a few hard hit balls, line drives for hits; 4 strikeouts no walks; 2 swinging K’s 2 looking (completely fooled on fastballs); struck out the side in the 2nd; multiple moves to hold runners at first; step off throw and picked off runner at first who had taken an average lead.
Kremer — looked good; pitched 1 inning; basic windup, rocks from the waist; 3 pitches around the plate – fastball 91-92, breaking pitch 84, change 74; 3 up and down; struck out 2, 1 swinging and a weak fly to center.
So that’s 2 AFL games that I have attended so far; each breezed along:
Time of games — 8 1/2 innings 2:34; 9 innings 2:21