In a likely preview of next Saturday's Arizona Fall League championship, the Peoria Javelinas defeated the Salt River Rafters, 8-7, on Wednesday to clinch the West division title and a berth in the title tilt.While the Javelinas had plenty of big hits among their 10 on the night, none was
In a likely preview of next Saturday's Arizona Fall League championship, the Peoria Javelinas defeated the Salt River Rafters, 8-7, on Wednesday to clinch the West division title and a berth in the title tilt.
While the Javelinas had plenty of big hits among their 10 on the night, none was bigger than the one in the top of the ninth inning. Left fielder Buddy Reed, the Padres' No. 13 prospect, drove a first-pitch slider over the right-field wall -- a go-ahead shot that was the deciding factor in a back-and-forth game.
"It was huge, to put us up 8-7 … I only saw one pitch," said Reed. "Joe [McCarthy] smoked a fastball before so I was kind of thinking he was going to throw something off-speed. I got a slider up and put a good swing on it and it went out."
Trailing by two runs into the 8th, Joe McCarthy, the Rays' No. 17 prospect, got the comeback train started with a rocket into right field. Reed then scored the game-tying run off an error by Rafters shortstop Jazz Chisholm.
No stranger to shining under pressure, Reed was recently named the MVP of the Fall Stars Game after blasting a game-tying triple and later scoring the winning run.
The former second-round pick has performed well throughout Fall League, and going into Wednesday's game, had slashed .365/.421/.481.
The two teams entered the game with identical 15-8 records. Salt River has a 3 1/2 game lead in the East and a magic number of 3 with six regular-season games remaining, while Peoria has clinched the West a full 10 days before the championship game.
"We're looking to keep playing strong," said Reed. "We're going to build off this going into tomorrow. We obviously have an off-day, but some guys are going to go in, get their work and come back Friday putting good at-bats together, playing solid defense and having our pitchers come out and show up like they've been doing."
Down two runs after the first inning, Izzy Wilson (Braves No. 23 prospect) kickstarted the Javelinas' offensive campaign with an RBI triple, then crushed a solo home run in his next at-bat.
While the pitching struggled on both sides, it was Adam McCreery, a 6-9 lefty from the Braves farm system, who closed the game out. McCreery pitched two innings, and quieted the Rafters' bats en route to the win.
Michael DeStasio is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.