The Game: The Phoenix Desert Dogs fell to the Peoria Javelinas 5-4 on Saturday in the Arizona Fall League’s Championship Game at Scottsdale Stadium. The loss snapped Phoenix’s string of six consecutive AFL titles.
The Desert Dogs took the lead in the first inning as Matt Angle led off the game with a triple to center. Angle later scored on a ground ball by Danny Espinosa to give Phoenix a 1-0 lead.
Peoria battled back to take the lead in the second inning. Brent Morel and Andrew Lambo hit back to back singles to lead off the inning. Casper Wells followed with a walk to load the bases for Peoria. Morel tied the game, scoring on a force out by CJ Retherford. The second run of the inning came across on an RBI single by Dustin Ackley to give Peoria a 2-1 lead.
Phoenix took the lead back in the fourth inning, courtesy of two long balls. Grant Desme tied the game with a solo shot to left. Then a few batters later, Nevin Ashley gave the Desert Dogs the lead with a solo home run, putting Phoenix out in front 3-2.
The game was tied again in the bottom of the fourth inning. CJ Retherford drew a walk to lead off the inning then advanced to second on a sac bunt by Cale Iorg. Retherford then moved to third on a throwing error. Jordan Danks drove him home with a ground ball to first, scoring Retherford and tying the game 3-3.
The tie lasted until the top of the seventh inning. Nevin Ashley led off the inning with a single to center. Ashley then stole second and advance to third on a throwing error on the play. Fellow Rays teammate Shawn O’Malley drove Ashley home with an RBI single to give Phoenix a 4-3 lead.
Peoria regained the lead in the eighth inning. Jonathan Lucroy singled to left with one out to put a runner on the bases. CJ Retherford followed with a two run homer to give the Javelinas the 5-4 margin of victory and the AFL title.
Phoenix Desert Dogs Player of the Game: Nevin Ashley; 2 for 4 with a home run, RBI and two runs scored, also stole a base.
Rays Organization Stats:
Nevin Ashley; 2 for 4 with a home run, RBI, 2 runs scored and a stolen base.
Shawn O’Malley; 2 for 3 with an RBI and a stolen base.
Mitch Talbot; 2 runs on 4 hits with 2 walks in 3 innings pitched.