AFL Update: Nov. 14, 2013

Steven Souza Jr. homers off Alex Meyer in the 2nd inning to give Mesa the early 2-0 lead (Photo Credit: Lee Magenheim)

The race for the Arizona Fall League East Divison title will come down to the final day of the season, as Mesa edged Glendale, 3-2 and Salt River paddled Scottsdale, 8-5.

Steve Souza’s two-run blast was the catalyst for the victory and came off former teammate Alex Meyer in their first matchup as opponents, as the two never faced each other this season in the Eastern League. It was the sole hit for the 24-y.o. who finished the game at 1-for-4 with a strikeout and extended his hit streak to seven games.

Matt Skole also appeared in the game, playing third base where he had a putout and two assists. He would score what would prove to be the decisive run a fourth-inning triple that the Desert Dogs misplayed into a Little League HR with an error. Skole also singled in the 2nd inning to go 2-for-3 for the game with a walk and a strikeout.

Richie Mirowski gave up the first Glendale run in the 5th on a double, wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly but struck out two of the final three batters he faced. It was just the third run he’s allowed in nine appearances this fall.

The win, which was Mesa’s fifth straight, improved the Solar Sox to 18-11-1 but just a 1/2 game better than the 18-12 Rafters. In head-to-head play, Salt River has defeated Mesa four times in six games. An 11-inning-tie between the Solar Sox and the Desert Dogs on Opening Day is what separates the top two teams in the AFL East.

As speculated earlier this week, Sammy Solis will be given the start today as Mesa visits Glendale for the season finale. A Solar Sox win or a Rafters loss will clinch a spot in the AFL Championship game, which will be held Saturday in Scottsdale against the AFL West-winning Surprise Sagauros.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

4 thoughts on “AFL Update: Nov. 14, 2013”

  1. Pretty impressive run by both Mesa & Salt River to keep this tight right to the end. Looks like Solis gets the start today to try to clinch it (against Andrew Heaney of Miami) … wish I could be there!

  2. I really like how Purke has pitched in Arizona. I am still at a loss on options and how that works. I believe he signed a Major League deal. Did it count as an option each time ST was finished and we sent him down? I think I remember hearing that injury plays a part as well. I guess my question is, does Purke still have options? thanks

    1. Yes, every time a player is sent down to the minors once he’s added to the 40-man roster, that counts as an option. Teams can petition for a fourth option if a player has less than five full seasons of professional experience and one of those seasons was less than 90 days (e.g. NYPL, GCL), which of course an injury can affect, though it should be noted that the 90-day limit includes time on the DL and the active time can be no more than 60 days and the DL time can be no more than 30 days.

      In any case, Purke would almost certainly qualify for a fourth option, given that he pitched just three games in 2012 and was done by mid-June.

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