In the Arizona Fall League on Saturday afternoon, the Scottsdale Scorpions nearly got shutout again by Glendale, this time losing by a 3-2 score. They didn’t collect their first hit until the seventh inning and had just three in the game. Four Pittsburgh Pirates players got into action.
Both Alen Hanson and Gift Ngoepe were in the lineup on Saturday, after each sat out last night’s game. Hanson was at shortstop and batting eighth. In every other game this season, he either batted lead-off or second. Ngoepe batted ninth and was at second base. Alex Dickerson wasn’t in the original lineup, but he was inserted after a late change. Dickerson batted fourth and played right field.
Alex Dickerson came up in the first inning with a man on first base and two outs. He grounded out to second base to end the inning. In the fourth inning, Dickerson had a six pitch AB, flying out to center field. With his team down 3-0, he came up in the seventh and had a chance to tie the game. Dickerson had men on first and second with no outs when he singled to load the bases.
In the ninth inning, Dickerson came up with no outs and two runners in scoring position. He had a good chance to tie up the game, which sat at 3-1 at the time. Dickerson had a six pitch AB, but came up empty, popping out to shortstop.
Leading off the third inning, Alen Hanson went down swinging on four pitches. In his second AB, he grounded out to first base on the first pitch he saw. Hanson led off the eighth inning with a pop out to first base. It was the second straight game without a hit for Hanson, who collected three hits Wednesday night.
Gift Ngoepe hit a 3-2 pitch softly back to the pitcher in his first AB. In the sixth inning, Ngoepe flew out to right field. Two times through the order, Glendale pitchers had still not allowed a base hit. In the eighth inning, Ngoepe flew out to left field. With another hitless game, Ngoepe is now 3-for-44 on the AFL season.
Matt Benedict came in during the fourth inning, entering the game with his team down 2-0, no one on base and two outs. He allowed a double on the second pitch he threw, then two pitches later, that runner came around to score on a single. Benedict got the third out on a ground ball to second base.
In the fifth inning, Benedict walked the lead-off hitter. That runner was quickly erased as Hanson and Ngoepe teamed up for a 6-4-3 double play. Benedict got the next hitting to go down swinging for the third out. He threw a total of 19 pitches, just nine for strikes.
The Scorpions are off tomorrow. There are just four games left in the regular season and Scottsdale won’t make the playoffs, getting officially eliminated today.
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.