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Old Oct 20th 2008, 6:40 pm
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Crazy AFL game in Mesa

The Mesa Solar Sox beat the Surprise Rafters 28-1 in an Arizona Fall League game today. There isn't an article up about it yet, but here's a link to the box score:

Mesa's pitchers (including Cubs' prospects Esmailin Caridad, Donald Veal and Rocky Roquet) limited Surprise to 1 run and just 3 hits.

Nate Spears went 2-5 with a double, 3 runs scored, and 1 RBI.

Steve Clevenger was 4-7, 2 doubles, 4 runs scored and 1 RBI.

Darwin Barney was 2-4 with 4 runs scored and an RBI.

I'm not sure if any of the other guys are in the Cubs' farm system... the computer is misbehaving so I can't check. I thought the whole thing was rather amusing, though.
The best thing you can do for your fellow, next to rousing his conscience, is not to give him things to think about, but to wake things up that are in him; or say, to make him think things for himself. -G.M.
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Old Oct 20th 2008, 7:27 pm
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Is "Surprise Rafters" really the name of a baseball team ?

Danny Darwin might be a player to watch.
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Old Oct 20th 2008, 10:11 pm
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Can you imagine being at that game?

Phillies prospect Jason Donald and Marlins farmhand Scott Cousins fueled the most prolific offensive performance in the Arizona Fall League this season.
Donald went 4-for-7 with a homer, four RBIs and four runs scored and Cousins was 3-for-5 with a homer, five RBIs and scored three times as the Mesa Solar Sox used a 24-hit attack to rout the Surprise Rafters, 28-1, on Monday.

Mesa (7-5) actually trailed entering the bottom of the second, but scored multiple runs in seven straight innings while taking advantage of eight Surprise errors in the fall's most lopsided contest thus far.

"I've never been on the other side of a game like this," said Donald, who is hitting .417 in 11 AFL games. "I've actually never been on this side of a game like this. It was a tough day for them, but that's baseball. It happens."

After Steve Clevenger (Cubs) doubled in a run in the second and Cousins singled in another, the Solar Sox broke the game open by scoring eight times on seven hits in the third.

Four straight singles by Nate Spears (Cubs), Donald, Jeff Larish (Tigers) and Jeremy Slayden (Phillies) produced the first two runs. Clevenger followed with his second two-base hit of the day and Cousins plated two more runs with a single.

A throwing error by catcher Lucas May (Dodgers) on a double-steal attempt allowed Clevenger to score, Darwin Barney (Cubs) and Matt Young (Braves) walked and John Raynor (Marlins) lifted a sacrifice fly to plate the fifth run of the inning. After Spears struck out, Donald capped the rally by driving in two runs with his second single of the inning.
"One through nine we've all had solid at-bats the last few days," Donald said of Mesa's attack, which has produced 49 runs on 55 hits during a three-game winning streak.

"We're just concerned with having good approaches and today was one of those days where everyone had good results. I think it shows just how badly guys here want to get to the Major Leagues."

After scoring three times in the fourth, Mesa tacked on seven more in the fifth. Cousins hit a two-run homer, his second of the fall, Young, Raynor and Spears stroked successive RBI doubles and Donald connected for his first AFL homer, a two-run shot that opened a 20-1 cushion.

Cousins played a total of 78 games at three Minor League levels this season, hitting .285 with 10 homers, 16 doubles, 38 RBIs and 50 runs scored. He finished the year with Double-A Carolina, where he batted .267 with nine RBIs and 15 runs scored over his final 26 contests.

Young, who fell a homer shy of the cycle, highlighted a three-run sixth with a two-run triple. The 26-year-old outfield prospect was a Southern League All-Star in 2008 for Double-A Mississippi after hitting .289 with 16 doubles, 11 triples and 50 RBIs in 135 games.

Eight of the nine hitters in the Solar Sox's lineup had multiple hits and runs scored and five contributed at least three hits and two RBIs.

Slayden raised his AFL-best RBI total to 13 and Donald paces the circuit with 12 runs scored. The 24-year-old infielder hit .307 with 14 homers, 19 doubles and 54 RBIs in 92 games with Double-A Reading and was named both an Eastern League All-Star and a Futures Game selection in 2008.

Despite his successful season, the University of Arizona product is working as hard as ever this fall.

"I went to instructs after the season ended to learn the basics of second and third [base]," said Donald, who played shortstop all year. "I want to get a feel at those positions and what I need to do to play those two spots."

Donald is also keeping close tabs on the parent club's progress this October as Philadelphia will visit Tampa Bay for Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday.

"It's an exciting time to be a part of this organization," he said. "It drives me more when I see that and it makes you want to be a part of something special. I can only hope to experience that one day too."

While Mesa's offense was busy putting on a show, five pitchers quietly held Surprise to only three hits. Jesse Estrada (1-0) went the first four innings, allowing a run on two hits while striking out three and walking one.

Fellow Cubs farmhands Esmailin Caridad and Donald Veal and Tigers prospect Zach Simons each tossed a scoreless inning before Rocky Roquet (Cubs) allowed one hit over the final two frames.

Surprise starter Josh Tomlin (1-1) of the Indians organization surrendered nine runs on nine hits and two walks in two innings.

Nolan Reimold (Orioles) hit his first homer of the fall for the Rafters (4-8).
Baseball season's underway...
So you'd better get ready for a brand new day
Hey Chicago whattya say?
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