11/05/2004 7:05 PM ET
Nov. 5: AFL game notes
|AFL Media Relations
Rafters @ Solar Sox 1:05 pm
RHP J.D. Durbin (1-0) vs. RHP Zach McClellan (1-0)
Desert Dogs @ Scorpions 1:05 pm
RHP Steve Obenchain (0-1) vs. RHP Dustin Moseley (0-0)
Javelinas @ Saguaros 7:05 pm
RHP Jake Dittler (0-1) vs. RHP Bobby Bradley (0-1)
SATURDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS
Scorpions @ Desert Dogs 1:05 pm
RHP Michael Burns (0-0) vs. RHP Danny Tamayo (0-2)
Saguaros @ Javelinas 1:05 pm
RHP Francisco Rosario (0-0) vs. RHP Jon Huber (0-1)
Solar Sox @ Rafters 7:05 pm
LHP Dennis Ulacia (0-1) vs. RHP Scott Baker (0-1)
FANTASTIC FRIDAY: The Arizona Fall league's 13th season continues with the Rafters traveling to Mesa to play the Solar Sox and the Desert Dogs traveling to Phoenix to face the Scorpions...both games start at 1:05 pm. The day concludes with the Saguaros hosting the Javelinas at the Peoria Sports Complex with a 7:05 pm first pitch. Each team will play 38 games and the winners of the two divisions will meet in a one-game championship on November 20th at Scottsdale Stadium.
MONTHLY HONORS: Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Jeff Miller and Detroit Tigers prospect Chris Shelton were named the Arizona Fall League's Pitcher and Player of the Month, respectively, for the month of October.
Peoria pitcher Jeff Miller (PIT) ranks first in the league with a 0.00 ERA and is holding opposing hitters to a .143 average. Miller has allowed only five hits in seven games for the Saguaros. Miller has not given up a walk and has 11 strikeouts for the season.
Grand Canyon Rafters' Chris Shelton is among league leaders with a .400 average for the month. In 65 at-bats, Shelton has collected 26 hits with eight doubles, a triple and four home runs. Shelton has 23 RBIs and scored 12 runs.
Sportsmanship Award: MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, and the Arizona Fall League (AFL), regarded throughout professional baseball as the "graduate school" for Major League Baseball's top prospects, announced Wednesday, November 3rd the creation of the Dernell Stenson AFL Sportsmanship Award.
This new annual award, named for Dernell Stenson, a 2003 player in the AFL who was tragically killed, will be given to the AFL player who demonstrates the qualities that Dernell brought to the ball park every day; a quiet, hard-nosed attitude, a player who does his job without complaint, who -- as many who played with Dernell said -- played the game the way it was meant to be played.
The managers, coaches and players from each of the six AFL teams will nominate one player each year. The AFL, in conjunction with MLB.com will then select a winner from the six nominees. The winner will be presented with a commemorative plaque in a special on-field presentation on November 18th, the final day of the AFL regular season.
MLB.com will also host an online auction later this month and the proceeds will be contributed in Dernell Stenson's name to the award winner's favorite charity. This year, the AFL has donated a one-of-a-kind AFL jersey worn by Mike Piazza in 1993 and later autographed by the Mets All-Star catcher.
"Dernell's death was a very difficult situation for the league," said Steve Cobb, Executive Vice President of the Arizona Fall League. "We suffered a tremendous loss but we came together as a family last year. At this point, we want to remember the contributions Dernell Stenson made to this league, in his work ethic and his dedication to the game. We think this is a fitting way to remember Dernell and we are pleased to work hand-in-hand with MLB.com to make this happen."
Pitcher Perfect: Three different Saguaros' pitchers held the Scorpions scoreless in the late innings as Peoria beat Scottsdale 3-1. Jeremy Harts (PIT), Adam Peterson (TOR) and Mike Johnston (PIT) combined to throw four scoreless innings and hold the lead that gave starter John Hudgins (TEX) his first Arizona Fall League win. The Peoria win caused them to gain ground in the standings towards the first place Scorpions, who now lead the division by five games. Peoria leadoff hitter Freddy Sanchez (PIT) was 2-for-4 and Jason Botts (TEX) was 1-for-2 with an RBI for the Saguaros.
Rafters Delight: The Rafters offense combined for 12 hits on their way to a 5-1 win over the Javelinas. Jason Bartlett (MIN) finished 2-for-4 and Curtis Granderson (DET) went 2-for-4 at the top of the order for Grand Canyon. Kevin West (MIN) added two hits including a solo home run in the win. The Rafters pitching shut down the Javelinas with the exception of one unearned run. Scott Munter (SF), Mark Woodyard (DET), and David Aarsdma (SF) combined to hold the Javelinas offense scoreless for the final four innings.
One Way Street: Closing pitcher Huston Street (OAK) held the Solar Sox scoreless in the final two innings to secure the come from behind victory for Phoenix. Street allowed no hits with four strikeouts to earn his first win of the season. Phoenix's offense came alive late as they scored in each of the last three innings off Mesa's bullpen. Three consecutive ninth inning errors by the Mesa Solar Sox allowed Chris Roberson (PHI) to cross the plate and give the Desert Dogs a one run advantage and ultimately the 6-5 win. Mark Teahen (KC) and Casey Smith (ANA) led the offense with two hits apiece.
In Memory: Dernell Stenson, whose on-field leadership, sportsmanship and unwavering commitment to his family both on and off the field, will always be remembered. As an Arizona Fall League player Stenson personified the type of ball player that approached the game without complaint and played every at bat with enthusiasm and respect. His life and accomplishments were bigger than baseball and those who met him are better for having been touched by his presence and grace. June 17, 1978 - November 5, 2003.
Dolan on MLB.com Radio: Today Brett Dolan will call the action of the Desert Dogs vs. Scorpions game at Scottsdale Stadium. The game will be heard live 1:05 pm (MST) on MLB.com.
MLB.com: Log on to MLB.com for the latest news on the Arizona Fall League. Click on the Minors tab to access the Fall League website where you will find player journals, stories and more. You can sign up for an Arizona Fall League weekly newsletter emailed directly to your inbox.
Hall of Fame: The Arizona Fall League continues its tradition of honoring former player and managers by inducting them into the Hall of Fame. This year's inductees are Garret Anderson (Rafters), Albert Pujols (Scorpions) and Tony Pena Sr. (Saguaros). Anderson's ceremony (10/29) and Pena's ceremony (11/3) were both completed at Scottsdale Stadium. The date and site of the ceremony for Pujols will be announced at a later date.
Q & A: Boston Red Sox prospect Manuel Delcarmen will be answering your questions on MLB.com. Log on to the website today and send in your questions then stay tuned for their responses.
Championship Game: The winner of the National Division and the American Division will face off for a one game playoff to determine the 2004 AFL Championship. The Championship game will be played at Scottsdale Stadium on Saturday, November 20th at 1:05 pm. The winner of the Joe Black MVP Award will be presented in a pre-game ceremony.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.