The Game: The Phoenix Desert Dogs were on the losing end of a slugfest against the Surprise Rafters, with the Rafters holding on for a 15-12 win on Friday night at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Both clubs combined for thirty hits including four home runs. With the loss, the Desert Dogs fell to 6-4 and are tied for first in the Arizona Fall League Eastern Division.
The Desert Dogs took the lead in the home half of the first inning. Matt Angle singled to center to lead off the inning. Angle later advanced to second on a stolen base an then to third on a ground out by Shawn O'Malley. Brandon Snyder drove home Angle with a ground ball to third and the Desert Dogs took a 1-0 lead.
Surprise battled back in the top of the second inning. Brandon Laird singled to third to lead off then inning. Colin Curtis followed with an RBI double to center to tie the game. Then Jeff Bianchi tripled to right, scoring Curtis and giving the Rafters a 2-1 lead.
Phoenix answered back in the bottom of the second inning. Grant Desme singled to left and then later scored on an RBI triple by Jemile Weeks to tie the game 2-2. The Desert Dogs regained the lead in the third when Matt Angle drew a walk to lead off the inning. Angle then stole second and later advanced to third on a sac bunt by Shawn O’Malley. Brandon Snyder then drove home Angle to give the Desert Dogs a 3-2 lead.
The Rafters nodded things up again in the fifth inning. Daryl Jones went deep with a solo home run to right center, tying the game at 3-3. Surprise increased their lead in the sixth inning, striking for three more runs. Daniel Descalso drew a walk to start the inning and then advanced to second on a ground out by Mike Moustakas. Mitchell Moreland then drew a walk. Both runners advanced into scoring position on a balk by Justin Friend. Brandon Laird followed with a two run double to score Descalso and Moreland. Laird later scored on an RBI single by Colin Curtis and Surprise now held a 6-3 lead.
Then came the seventh inning, the inning where both teams struck for a combined sixteen runs. The Rafters got things going in the top of the seventh by posting their eight runs to the scoreboard. Daryl Jones doubled to right to lead off the inning. Daniel Descalso reached on an error allowing Jones to score. Mike Moustakas followed with a single to right, moving Descalso to second. Then Mitchell Moreland delivered an RBI single to right, scoring Descalso. Brandon Laird cleared the bases with a three run homer off Mickey Storney. The bases did not remain empty long as Colin Curtis singled and Jeff Bianchi double to put two more runners in scoring position. Bryan Anderson followed with an RBI single to score Curtis. Then Daryl Jones drove in another run with his second double of the inning, scoring Bianchi and moving Anderson to third increasing the Surprise lead to 14-3.
Phoenix matched with an eight run inning of their own in the bottom of the seventh. Nevin Ashley homer to left to lead off the inning for the Desert Dogs. Matt Angle and Shawn O’Malley followed with back to back singles, leaving runners on the corners. Brandon Snyder drew a walk to load the bases for the Desert Dogs. Chris Marrero grounds into a force out, scoring Angle but losing O’Malley at third on the force. Grant Desme then drew a walk to reload the bases. Josh Bell drove home two runs with a line drive to center, scoring Desme and Bell. Nevin Ashley the delivers an RBI single to center, scoring Brown. Matt Angle follows with a single to right, moving Ashley to third. Shawn O’Malley strikes for an RBI single, scoring his Stone Crabs teammate Ashley and pulling the Desert Dogs to within three runs of the lead 14-11.
Surprise added an insurance run in the eighth inning. Mike Moustakas drew a walk and Mitchell Moreland was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Colin Curtis then drew a walk to load the bases. Jeff Bianchi delivered a sac fly to score Moustakas and increase the Rafters lead 15-11.
The Desert Dogs posted another run to the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth inning on a solo home run by Grant Desme. But its wasn’t enough as the Desert Dogs fell 15-12.
Justin Friend suffered the loss, dropping to 2-1 on the season. Matt Harrison earned the victory and Grant Duff the save for the Rafters.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Player of the Game: Grant Desme; went 3 for 4 with a home run, RBI and 3 runs scored.
Rays Organization Stats:
Shawn O’Malley; 3 for 4 with an RBI.
Nevin Ashley; 2 for 4 with a home run, 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.
A Look Ahead: The Phoenix Desert Dogs will face the Scottsdale Scorpions on Saturday evening at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Brandon Erbe (0-0, 0.00) is scheduled to face Joe Martinez (1-0, 1.50).