Surprise moved to a 4-1 record with a win on Friday. On Saturday they took on Salt River, a team with an 0-5 record. Quinn Priester made his second start. Blake Sabol was the only Pittsburgh Pirates batter in the lineup. Here’s a recap of the game.
Priester started the opener on Monday and he went three innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits, three walks and three strikeouts. He started this game with a first pitch ground out and a three-pitch strikeout. The next batter grounded out on four pitches, giving Priester a quick first with seven strikes and one ball. He hit 96.1 MPH, after topping out at 94.5 MPH in the opener. He retired the first batter in the second on two pitches, then walked the next guy on four straight balls. Priester then struck out the next batter on a slider looking, then got the third out on a swinging strikeout on the fastball. He topped out at 96.1 MPH again. He threw 17 pitches and eight strikes.
Priester faced the minimum in the third, though a caught stealing after a single helped him out. He picked up a strikeout on a five-pitch at-bat that contained only sliders. He allowed two runs in the fourth on a single and a homer, then gave up another single in the frame. Despite the three hits, he got out of the inning on 15 pitches. Priester’s final frame was eight pitches, getting a strikeout with a curve among the three outs. He finished with five innings, four hits, two runs, one walk and five strikeouts. He threw 61 pitches, with 42 strikes.
Sabol caught this game and batted seventh. He flew out to left field to start the third inning, then threw out a runner attempting to steal in the bottom of the inning. He grounded out in the sixth inning, then singled and scored a run in the eighth. He grounded into a double play in the ninth, leaving him 1-for-4 with a single and a run.
Salt River had a perfect game going through Sabol’s at-bat in the sixth, but the next batter tripled and then the entire game changed from that point on. Surprise won 6-3 to give them the best record in the league (5-1) during the first week of the season.
Surprise is off tomorrow. They play Monday night at 9:35 PM ET.
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.