Last night, the 2011 Arizona Fall League came to an end as the Salt River Rafters battled the Surprise Saguaros in the AFL Championship Game. Though Surprise finished the regular season with the Arizona Fall League’s top record, Salt River bested the Saguaros in the one contest that mattered, defeating Surprise 9-3. Rockies prospect Nolan Arenado homered for the Rafters and took home the honor of MVP of the 2011 Arizona Fall League.
Salt River was able to jump out to an early 3-0 lead against Surprise’s starter, Alex Sanabia. The Marlins right-hander surrendered three runs on five hits over his 4 2/3 innings of work, including Arenado’s solo blast.
The pitching held the game in check through the middle-innings, but Salt River broke things wide open in the 7th. The Rafters sent nine men to the plate that inning, scoring five runs on three hits and two walks. The big blow came off the bat of Arizona’s David Nick who cleared the bases with his two out triple.
The offensive forces that propelled Surprise to its championship run fell silent Saturday. Texas’s Mike Olt, who led the Arizona Fall League in home runs and RBI’s, and Royals prospect Wil Myers combined to go just 1-8 last night with four strikeouts.
Arenado capped his impressive AFL showing off with a 1-4 night, driving in one with his home run and scoring twice. On the season, Arenado led the Arizona Fall League in hits and doubles while finishing second in RBI’s and third in batting average and home runs. To see all of the top performances from the 2011 Arizona Fall League, check out yesterday’s article on the best of the AFL.
For more on the minor leagues, be sure to check out Seedlings to Stars.