The Surprise Saguaros played in the Arizona Fall League championship game on Saturday night against Glendale. The Pittsburgh Pirates were represented in the starting lineup by Nick Gonzales and Blake Sabol. Colin Selby came in for the 11th inning. Here’s a quick recap of their day.
Gonzales batted second and served as the DH. Gonzales had four hits in the final game of the regular season on Thursday. In this game, he singled on a grounder to right field in the first. He hit a solo homer in the third, which can be seen below. He reached on an infield single in the fifth and scored a run. He was hit by a pitch in the sixth, then got called out on strikes in the eighth. He had a chance to walk it off in the tenth with a tied score and the winning run on third base, but he struck out to end the inning. That meant that he was the ghost runner in the 11th and he scored a run.
Sabol batted sixth and caught. He struck out swinging to end the first inning. He lined out to first base in the fourth. He singled in the sixth, stole a base and scored a run. He struck out swinging with the game-winning run on second base in the ninth. Since he made the last out in the ninth, he was the free runner in the tenth and scored on a double.
Colin Selby took the 11th and struck out the first two batters. He issued a walk, then allowed a single that scored the free runner. Selby struck out the next batter, giving him an unearned run and three strikeouts on 20 pitches. He took the win when Surprise walked it off in the 11th.
Nick Gonzales goes yard!!! pic.twitter.com/MBRyYgutFp
— Milb Central (@milb_central) November 13, 2022
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.