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Thursday 19th Oct 2017

OK, so it was not his first swing of the game.

That is, after Todd and I met Perry Van Hook and Don Drooker in Surprise Tuesday for the early game, and then a great meal--as is our now two-year old tradition--we boogied back to Scottsdale for the AFL nightcap between the Scorpions and the Javelinas, and sat down just as Bryce Harper stepped into the box.

The fine young Nationals player took a couple of swings in the on-deck circle, and then deposited the first pitch we saw of the evening, to start the bottom of the third, about 400 feet away in the right-center burm of Scottsdale Stadium.

Earlier we missed a first-inning Harper single, also good for a knock as his team went on to win anyway, 6-4, augmented by a similarly majestic blast by Giants second base prospect, Joe Panik, who also banged a couple of hits for the evening. Also of note was Mike Trout's single, raising his average to .271.

On the Peoria side of the dish, second sacker Scooter Gennett, Brewers property, collected three singles to raise his fall average to .357 while Kentrail Davis smacked a deep triple, good for two of four total runs.

Pitching for the game was uneventful, save Padres' lefty Jeff Ibarra, a 6'6" beanpole (180 lbs.) who threw with a quirky sidearm elbow motion. Not that he will be dominating, for he could not hit 90 MPH, but, as noted by Joe Sheehan, in ten years his job will be to come into a game and try to get Harper out (and nothing more).

In the day's earlier contest, Kevin Mattison hit a towering two-run walk-off in the ninth off Sean Gleason to win the game 7-5.

2008 #1 pick Tim Beckham had a nice day in Surprise as well, clubbing a double, then a home run, but the bat of the day belonged to Braves backstop Christian Bethancourt, who went 3-for-4 with a homer, a pair of singles, and a couple of runs scored.

Pittsburgh flychaser Robbie Grossman also had three hits (.385) and an RBI in a losing effort for Mesa.

Pitching was mostly non-descript, though Royals starter Nate Adcock pitched three shutout innings in what seems to be his most effective fall start so far.

Trey McNutt, Andrew Cashner, and Jeremy Jeffress all made appearances during the day game, but none were particularly impressive.



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