AFL: Two Hits For Hanson As Losing Streak Continues

On Tuesday afternoon in the Arizona Fall League, the Scottsdale Scorpions lost for the fifth straight time, dropping a 3-2 decision to Peoria. It drops them to last place in their division and ties them with Peoria for the worst record in the AFL. arizona_fall_league_logo

For just the third time, all three Pittsburgh Pirates position players were in the lineup at the same time. Alen Hanson batted lead-off and was at shortstop. His double play partner was Gift Ngoepe, who batted ninth. Alex Dickerson was in the clean-up spot and he was in right field. For Hanson, today’s game was his eighth straight game without an error(not including one game in which he only pinch-ran). Ngoepe has yet to make an error this season.

Hanson led-off the game with a ground rule double, hitting a 91 MPH fastball on the fifth pitch he saw to the right-center field gap. It was his first double of the AFL season. In his next AB, Hanson put down a bunt on the first pitch for a single. He moved up to second base on a ground out, then stole third base, his fourth steal of the AFL season. In his third plate appearance, Hanson came up with Gift Ngoepe on first and no out. He dropped down a sacrifice bunt, then reached on a throwing error. Hanson was eventually cut down at the plate, trying to score the go ahead run. In the seventh, he swung at the first pitch and flew out to left field.

Hanson came up in the ninth with a man on first and two outs, his team trailing 3-2 on the scoreboard. He took the first three pitches, all well outside the strike zone, though one was called a strike. On pitch four, Hanson grounded out to second base to end the game.

Alex Dickerson came up with men on first and second and one out in the first inning. He made good contact, but unfortunately lined out to shortstop, which turned into a double play. Leading off the fourth inning, Dickerson singled on a ground ball to right field. He then stole his first base of the AFL season. Dickerson struck out looking in the fifth inning, going down on just three pitches, then struck out looking again three innings later.

Gift Ngoepe led off the third inning by getting called out on strikes. He had the count 3-1, which included a very questionable strike call according to the game feed, but he took a fastball down the middle for strike three. Ngoepe was first up in the fifth and he drew a walk, then came around to score the first run for Scottsdale, tying the score at the time. In the seventh inning, Ngoepe was called out on strikes again. He came up in the ninth inning with two outs, no one on base and his team down by one run. Ngoepe  singled to keep the game going. Despite the hit, he is now just 3-for-29 on the AFL season.

John Dreker

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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