On Thursday night in the Arizona Fall League, Surprise had a 4-3 lead in the ninth with help from three Pittsburgh Pirates. Unfortunately for them, the fourth member of the Pirates to appear in the game didn’t have the same strong results, quickly giving up a walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth.
Eric Wood and Jin-De Jhang were in the starting lineup. Wood batted fourth and played left field in this game after starting at third base yesterday. Jhang hit seventh and was behind the plate after being used as the DH in the AFL opener on Tuesday.
In his first at-bat, Wood singled on a line drive to center field, which scored his team’s first run. After moving to second on a wild pitch, he would score on a single up the middle. Leading off the third inning, Wood singled on a grounder up the middle. He struck out swinging in the fifth inning, then reached on an infield single three innings later. Wood scored on a sacrifice fly four batters later to give his team a 4-3 lead. He struck out swinging in the ninth, giving him a 3-for-5 day, with three singles, two runs and an RBI.
Jhang walked to lead-off the second inning, then scored on a single four batters later. He singled on a line drive to right field in the third inning, which moved Eric Wood to third base with two outs. However, both Jhang and Wood were left stranded. In the sixth inning, Jhang grounded out to second base. In the eighth, he singled on a line drive to left field, which loaded the bases and led to the sacrifice fly that scored Wood with the go-ahead run. Jhang ended the bottom of the eighth by throwing out a runner attempting to steal second base. He finished 2-for-3, with a walk and a run scored.
Alex McRae came on in relief in the fourth inning and got a ground out to second base to start his day. He walked the next batter on six pitches, then got a 3-6-1 double play one pitch later to end the inning. In the fifth inning, he got a strikeout, then two ground outs to retire the side in order. McRae made quick work in the sixth as well, getting a strikeout and two ground outs, though both were hard grounders right at fielders. Despite the walk, he threw a lot of strikes in his three no-hit innings, with 23 of his 32 pitches going for strikes. All of the outs were either strikeouts or on the ground. There was no PITCHf/x for this game.
Montana DuRapau was the last Pirate to make his AFL debut, coming in for the ninth inning with a 4-3 lead. He immediately gave up two line drive singles to put runners on the corners with no outs. He struck out the next batter, then threw a wild pitch that moved the runner up from first base. One pitch later, he allowed a game-ending double. DuRapau threw 12 pitches total.
Surprise next plays on Friday afternoon in Mesa.