MESA SOLAR SOX  5,  PHOENIX DESERT DOGS  5   (TIE)
 
Starter Justin Wilson pitched into the 4th inning and allowed 2 runs, but the game ended in a tie.  That means that the Solar Sox will not be able to catch up to the Scottsdale Scorpions, who have clinched the Arizona Fall League's Eastern Division.  The Solar Sox have three games remaining.  The Scorpions will play the championship game on Saturday, against either the Peoria Javelinas (1st place in the AFL West) or the Surprise Rafters (2nd place, 3 games behind with 3 games to play).

The Solar Sox got the early lead, with a run in the 1st inning.  2B Ryan Flaherty (Cubs) singled up the middle, and a wild pitch put him on second base.  1B Matt Rizzotti (Phillies) also singled up the middle, and Flaherty raced around from second base to score.  
Wilson worked around a pair of singles in both the 1st and 2nd innings, to hold onto the slim lead.  But in the top of the 3rd, Wilson hit the first batter of the inning.  Then with two outs, he gave up a 2-run homer to LF Brandon Laird (Yankees), and the Desert Dogs had a 2-1 lead.  

A pair of doubles, by 3B Josh Vitters (Cubs) and RF Andrew Lambo, drove in a run for the Solar Sox in the 4th inning, to tie the score.  A hit batter and a ground out by C Tony Sanchez moved the runners to second and third bases, but SS Jordy Mercer struck out to end the inning and leave both runners in scoring position.

Wilson began the 4th with a fly out and a walk, then was relieved by David Cales (Cubs), who got out of the inning without a run scoring.  Nicholas Carr (Mets) pitched a scoreless 5th inning for Mesa, then gave up two lead-off singles in the 6th.  A fielding error by Mercer brought in one run for Phoenix, and another single added a second run, giving the Desert Dogs a 4-2 lead.  

Jordy Mercer made up for his error in the 7th, when he led off with a solo home run.  DH Andrew Romine (Angels) singled following the homer, but was erased in a double play off the bat of Flaherty.  LF John Tolisano (Blue Jays) doubled and Rizzotti walked, but that attempt at a rally ended with a ground out.  The Solar Sox were closer, at 4-3.

Eric Neisen (Mets) finished the 6th inning for Carr, then pitched a 1-2-3 7th inning.  Brian Leach extended his perfect ERA streak with a perfect 8th inning -- two ground outs and a strikeout.  Eddie McKiernan (Angels) took over for Leach to begin the top of the 9th, and he gave up a double, then a fielding error by Rizzotti allowed that runner to score, and the Desert Dogs were back to a 2-run lead.  

Mercer began the bottom of the 9th with a line drive single into center field.  Romine walked, and Flaherty moved both up a base with a sacrifice bunt.  Mercer scored on Tolisano's RBI ground out, and Romine scored on a wild pitch.  But a strike out ended the inning and cut the rally short, and the game ended in a tie.  




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