AFL Game 22 Recap: Yankees’ Bichette Jr. Drives In Three In Scorpions’ 8-6 Loss
Thursday, we spent a lot of time on the Yanks Go Yard Radio Show talking about the successes of Greg Bird, Tyler Austin, and Aaron Judge down in the Arizona Fall League. On Friday, it was Dante Bichette Jr’s turn to be one of the bright spots in the Scottsdale Scorpions’ offense. The Scorpions fell to 10-12 on the AFL season on Friday afternoon against the Salt River Rafters (14-5-3) by a final score of 8-6.
Even in the loss, the third baseman was one of the main run producers for Scottsdale, going 1-for-4 with three RBI’s in the loss. It was the most RBI’s Bichette (.240, 0 HR, 6 RBI’s) has had in any of his 14 games in the desert.
Scottsdale got off to a rough start in the bottom of the second inning with Joely Rodriguez (Pirates), one of the best pitchers in the AFL on the mound. The Rafters scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning on a paid of RBI singles with two outs. After Evan Marzilli (Diamondbacks) hit a two-run single to left that scored Taylor Featherston (Rockies) and Justin Bohn, Austin Nola (Marlins) followed that up with a single to right that scored Chris O’Dowd (Rockies) to get Rodriguez pulled from the game with the Scorpions down 3-0.
The Scottsdale bats had to go up against Mark Appel (Astros) yesterday. After one hit thru the first two innings, the offense found their form in the top of the third. Logan Moore (Phillies) drove in the first run on a RBI single that scored Kelby Tomlinson (Giants), who tripled to lead off the inning. Later in the inning, after an Aaron Judge walk loaded the bases, Bird reached on an error by Nola to cut the deficit to 3-2. Bichette Jr. would add the first of his three RBI’s on a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game at three.
Salt River would come right back and take the lead in the bottom of the inning on a two-run double to left by O’Dowd, scoring Peter O’Brien (Diamondbacks) and Andrew Aplin (Astros) to give the Rafters a 5-3 lead.
The game continued to take its twists and turns in the top of the fifth inning. With Scottsdale down 5-3 and the bases loaded after another Judge walk, Bird would single to left to score Roman Quinn (Phillies) for his 19th RBI of the AFL to make it 5-4. On the next batter, Bichette Jr. would hit two-run single to right, scoring Brandon Nimmo (Mets) and Judge to hand Scottsdale its second lead of the game, 6-5.
However, Justin Bohn would tie it back up at six in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI single to right which scored Aplin. The Marlins’ shortstop prospect went 4-for-4 in the win. Salt River would get that eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth on a double by Austin Nola, his second RBI of the game. The insurance run came in the bottom of the eighth against Yankees’ prospect Kyle Haynes when Trevor Story (Rockies) would drive in O’Brien on a RBI single to make it 8-6.
The run that Haynes gave up was unearned as he lowered his ERA to 2.08 in seven games as he gave up just the one run on two hits, but walked two in one inning of work. Jason Adam (Twins) got the win in relief for the Rafters while Clayton Blackburn (Giants) suffered his first loss.
Tonight is the AFL Stars Game, which will be televised on MLB Network at 8:00 PM ET. Two Yankees’ prospects, Aaron Judge and Greg Bird, will be playing in this game. Bird will get the start for the East All-Stars, batting fourth and playing first base.