Both Alen Hanson and Alex Dickerson were in the lineup for Scottsdale. Hanson was in his usual two spot at shortstop and Dickerson was moved down to the six hole, playing left field. Two other Pittsburgh Pirates players got into the game before it was over.
In his first at bat, Alen Hanson grounded out to third base on a 1-1 pitch. He came up in the third inning, his team was trailing 4-1, with a man on second base and one out. Hanson ended up walking on six pitches. In his third AB, he grounded out to third base. Hanson had a seven pitch at bat in the seventh when he flew out to left field leading off the inning. He got another chance to hit with two outs in the ninth inning. Hanson popped out to shortstop to end the game. He is now hitting .250 in 76 AB’s.
Alex Dickerson came up in the second inning with a man on first and one out. That base runner quickly moved to second base on a steal, but remained there one pitcher later when Dickerson grounded out back to the pitcher. In the fourth inning, he flew out to center field on the first pitch he saw. Dickerson collected a single in the sixth inning, then in his last at bat, he grounded out to second base, leaving him with a 1-for-4 day.
Zack Thornton came out for the fourth inning and struck out the first batter on three pitches. He started out with three straight balls to the second hitter, all well out of the strike zone. Thornton came back to get him to ground out softly to first base on a 3-2 pitch. With two outs, he allowed back-to-back doubles to make the score 5-2. He then allowed a triple that brought home the sixth run, before ending the inning like it started, picking up a strikeout on three pitches. Thornton threw 24 pitches, 14 for strikes.
Gift Ngoepe came into the game in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement at second base. He did not bat, but had one play in the field. The ninth inning included two ground outs to Alen Hanson and one to Ngoepe, who has still yet to make an error in the AFL.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.