AFL: Ngoepe Picks Up RBI In Scottsdale Win

After a break this weekend, that included the appearance of Alen Hanson in the Arizona Fall League All-Star Game, the Scottsdale Scorpions came into Monday trying to break their eight game losing streak. It took extra innings, but they were able to do it with a 7-4 victory over Peoria. arizona_fall_league_logo

Gift Ngoepe was the only Pittsburgh Pirates player in Monday’s lineup. He batted lead-off and was at shortstop for the first time since early in the AFL season. Ngoepe drew a walk to start the game, moved to second on another walk and scored the first run of the game on a single from the third place hitter.

In the second inning, Ngoepe grounded into a double play to end the inning. In his third plate appearance, he struck out to end the fifth inning. In the eighth inning, Ngoepe saw three straight 90 MPH fastballs, flying out to center field on the last pitch. He came up in the tenth inning right after his team took a 5-4 lead. Ngoepe had men on the corners and one out. Four pitches into his at bat, he was able to lift a fly ball deep enough in left field to bring home the sixth run. The RBI was his first of the AFL season.

Tyler Waldron came on to pitch the bottom of the fourth inning. He retired the first batter on a ground out to Gift Ngoepe. The second batter lined a curveball into left field for a single. The next hitter also singled, this time a line drive into center field. Waldron then walked the bases loaded on a 3-2 pitch, but he was able to get out of the jam with no damage. He got a ground ball right back to the mound for a 1-2-3 double play. Waldron threw a total of 17 pitches, nine for strikes. His fastball was topping out at 91 MPH and his curve was 77-78 MPH.

  • I wish Gift was good but its clear he just is not going to be able to hit major league pitching. It would be awesome if he could especially since he appears to be a + defender.

    • I’m holding out hope that he can hit just enough to get a shot at the majors because it would be a great story. His defense and speed are plus tools and it’s encouraging that he can play both SS and 2B well. It didn’t help that he missed so much time this year and he seemed to be heating up right as he had to leave Altoona.