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Witherspoon, Scorpions battle Dogs in marathon

Angels prospect drives in three runs to lead Scottsdale in grueling four-hour draw

Special to
With the abundance of offensive firepower that populates the Arizona Fall League, there are no easy outs.

Scottsdale illustrated that fact on Saturday, as all of the Scorpions' runs were driven in by the bottom four batters in the order. No. 7 hitter Travis Witherspoon led the charge, going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, a walk and three RBIs as Scottsdale and Phoenix played to an 8-8 tie.

The teams agreed to call the marathon contest prior to the 11th inning, nearly four hours after the first pitch.

Witherspoon, the Angels' No. 7 prospect, came in having driven in just two runs in nine AFL games but equaled that number with a two-run double in the fourth inning, scoring Austin Romine (Yankees) and Adalberto Santos (Pirates).

The 22-year-old got on the board again in the sixth with a two-run homer to left, again bringing home Santos.

"I thought I did a great job of just doing what I'm capable of doing and not trying to do too much." Witherspoon said. "I was just trying to do what I can to help the team win, but not over-do anything."

Santos enjoyed a similarly successful day hitting ahead of Witherspoon. The 25-year-old third baseman went 3-for-4 -- his first multi-hit game of the fall -- drove in two and scored three times for the Scorpions. Santos also represented the potential go-ahead run after doubling to open the top of the ninth but was stranded at third as Grant Dayton (Marlins) retired the next three batters in order.

Scottsdale also saw contributions in the form of a solo homer by Carlos Moncrief (Indians), who went back-to-back with Witherspoon in the sixth, and an RBI single by No. 9 hitter Ronny Rodriguez -- the first of the fall for Cleveland's No. 5 prospect.

"It's a lot of fun," Witherspoon said of the top-to-bottom hitting talent in the AFL. "At any given moment you can get a home run here; something exciting can happen. It's exciting to know that one through nine you have a great team of hitters, and it also gives you a chance to pick their brains and learn a few things."

Though Witherspoon came in hitting just .222, the outfield prospect said the stat sheet has not been indicative of his performance thus far. Regardless, the California League All-Star was pleased to see his work pay off on Saturday.

"I wouldn't consider this a breakout game; I'd say it's more of just continuing from where I was a few games ago," he said. "I've talked to the coaching staff and the team, and we believe that I've actually had some good games in the past that just haven't really showed up on paper. But I've been hitting the ball hard, and today it finally showed up."

It was the top of the order that carried the Desert Dogs, who fought back from an 8-5 deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth.

Phoenix leadoff man Josh Prince (Brewers) picked up three hits, an RBI and two runs scored, improving his fall average to .460 -- second-best in the AFL.

Zack Cox is a contributor to

Los Angeles Angels, Grant Dayton, Carlos Moncrief, Josh Prince, Ronny Rodriguez, Travis Witherspoon