AFL Recap: Nick Gonzales Homers, Reaches Base Four Times in Loss

The Surprise Saguaros improved their league best record to 7-1 on Tuesday. They were off on Wednesday, then resumed play on Thursday with three Pittsburgh Pirates in the lineup, including one at a new position. Three other Pirates got into the game before it was over. Here’s the recap.

Nick Gonzales batted third and played third base for the first time as a pro. He came out swinging in this game, hitting a two-run homer in the first inning, his first homer of the fall. He grounded out to third base in the third, then walked in the fifth. He was hit by a pitch in the sixth, then singled off of the pitcher in the eighth. He finished up 2-for-3 with a homer, 2 RBI, BB, HBP

Henry Davis batted sixth and caught. He singled in the second inning, though he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. He hit into a fielder’s choice in the fourth. He struck out in a big spot in the fifth, batting with the bases loaded. Davis left for a pinch-hitter in the seventh. No word on whether it was a planned move or there was a reason. He finished the day 1-for-3.

Blake Sabol batted eighth in the DH spot. He walked in the second inning, then struck out in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings. He lined out to third base to end the game. He ended up 0-for-4, BB

Jacob Gonzalez got a pinch-hit at-bat in the ninth and grounded out to shortstop. He’s still looking for his first fall hit.

Omar Cruz came on in relief in the fourth. He walked the first batter, then got a double play for two quick outs. He issued a second walk, then ended the frame with a fly ball to left field. He threw eight of 17 pitches for strikes. Cruz had a much better second inning, going 1-2-3 with two strikeouts, throwing eight of 11 pitches for strikes. He finished with two scoreless.

Tahnaj Thomas came out for the sixth and gave up an infield single to the first batter. He picked up a strikeout, then issued a seven-pitch walk. A double brought in a run. The next batter singled to bring in two more runs. He recorded a full count strikeout that ended his day with 26 pitches, 15 going for strikes. The runner he left on base scored after he left, though the run was unearned. Thomas allowed three earned runs in 0.2 innings.

This game was tied 8-8 going into the ninth, but Surprise lost 14-8.

Here’s the boxscore.

Surprise plays at 3:35 PM ET tomorrow.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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b mcferren

wow – third base

bradlej31

Do you think there’s a chance Gonzales skips Puerto Rico if his AFL is so strong?

AdministrativeSky236

Nah he just needs more reps imo, AFL is only 30 games

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