Mesa loses first game in AFL play, 11-9 against Surprise

It was an historic day in Arizona. Why you may ask?

Well, it was the first time Mesa lost a game in the 2013 Arizona Fall League.

Surprise defeated Mesa 11-9 with two runs in the ninth inning. But this was after a dramatic comeback by the Solar Sox fell just a bit short.

Mesa rallied from 3-0 and 9-5 deficits to tie the game at 9-9 through eight innings. Surprise scored two runs in the ninth on a sac fly and a Tyler Naquin run-scoring single. Surprise pounded out 17 hits to go with the 11 runs they scored versus Mesa, a rare rough time for the Solar Sox pitching staff. After all, it was Mesa’s first loss in nine games.

The 7-0-1 start for Mesa was impressive. Because records are not accurate for Arizona Fall League games played years ago, I could not confirm that the eight-game start for Mesa was one of the best ever. But certainly, if you can go 11 days without losing a game in the AFL, you did something.

Designated hitter Matt Skole went 1-for-2 with two runs, one RBI and three walks. Skole is now batting .313. Catcher Adrian Nieto went 1-for-3 with an RBI and two walks. His average is .308. He was caught stealing one time.

Third baseman Kris Bryant had the big game for Mesa, going 3-for-5 with three runs, two homers and four RBIs. One of Bryant’s roundtrippers was a two-run shot. Despite falling 11-9, Mesa was 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position and still pounded out 12 hits. They did leave 10 men on base.

Next, Mesa (7-1-1) hosts Salt River (2-6) Saturday night at 9:35 p.m. Nationals prospect Steven Souza Jr. will get to play in that game. Now the Solar Sox look to begin a new streak. Their lead is five full games in the East division.

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