Baltimore Orioles: Salt River Rafters Win The 2019 AFL Championship
The 2019 Arizona Fall League Championship game was played on Saturday as Surprise and Salt River vied for the title. Here is a recap of the game, including how each Baltimore Orioles prospect performed.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick was the host site of the 2019 Arizona Fall League Championship game on Saturday. The game featured the West Division champions, the Surprise Saguaros (17-12) hosting the East Division champions, the Salt River Rafters (17-11-1).
The Surprise team was composed of prospects from the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, and Washington Nationals while Salt River featured prospects from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays.
Salt River took the title by a score of 5-1 in a game that lasted 2 hours and 46 minutes and was played in front of an announced crowd of 2,423. BOX SCORE
Several Baltimore Orioles prospects, Rylan Bannon, Dean Kremer and Mason McCoy, played in the game and made contributions, albeit in a losing effort.
The championship game began with Minnesota prospect, RHP Dakota Chalmers, facing off against Kansas City prospect, LHP Daniel Lynch. It was a scoreless affair until the bottom of the third inning when Surprise opened the scoring. Bubba Thompson (Rangers) led off the inning with a walk and then stole second base. He advanced to third base on a Kyle Isbel (Royals) groundout and subsequently scored on a Luis Garcia (Nationals) RBI single.
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Both Bannon and McCoy played a major part in keeping the game scoreless until that point. Renaldo Hernandez (Tampa Bay) doubled to left field leading off the top of the second inning but was thrown out trying to stretch it out to third base Isbel to Bubba Thompson (Texas) to McCoy to Bannon.
It was the top of the fourth inning when Salt River blew the game open and scored all five of their runs. RHP Sterling Sharp (Nationals) started the inning in relief of Lynch and hit Seth Beer (Arizona) with a pitch and allowed him to then take second base on a wild pitch. Hernandez singled to score Beer and then Sharp walked both Luke Raley (Minnesota) and Colton Welker (Colorado) to load the bases before giving up a grand slam home run to Jerar Encarnacion (Miami).
Pitching took over to generate 5 1/2 scoreless innings to finish out the contest and award the crown to Salt River. For the record, the winning pitcher was Ashton Goudeau (Kansas City) and the losing pitcher was Sharp.
As far as Baltimore Orioles prospects go, Bannon went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, McCoy went 0 for 3 with one strikeout, and Kremer entered the game in relief of Sharp in the fourth inning and pitched 2.1 innings while allowing one hit, walking one and striking out three.
Congrats to Salt River on winning the 2019 Arizona Fall League Championship.
Checkout Birds Watcher for a review of how all the Baltimore Orioles prospects performed in the Arizona Fall League.