AFL: Scorpions Lose in Championship

The AFL season is ultimately decided in a one-game championship. No drawn out series of baseball and no chances for a comeback. Two of the Phillies five prospects in the AFL played in this year's championship game with their club, the Surprise Scorpions, coming up on the short end of a 9-3 loss.

Saturday wasn't a good day for Phillies prospects in the AFL.

Michael Bourn, who overall finished the AFL season with a .300 average, took an 0-for-3 collar in the championship game for Surprise. Pitcher Brian Sanches was part of a very ugly eighth inning that buried the Scorpions.

Sanches came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth in relief of Philip Barzilla (Astros). The Scorpions trailed Phoenix by a 4-1 score. Things turned ugly pretty quickly for Sanches. Matt Kemp (Dodgers) took Sanches deep to center field for Kemp's second homerun of the day. The Dodgers prospect would finish the day with a 4-for-4 mark. That was just the beginning.

Stephen Drew (Diamondback) reached on an error by first baseman Kendry Morales (Angels) and promptly stole second. Andy LaRoche (Braves) then reached on a throwing error by third baseman Travis Hanson (Cardinals) that allowed Drew to score from second base. Perhaps rattled by the back-to-back errors, Sanches then delivered a wild pitch, putting a runner on third with nobody out. A single by Andre Ethier (A's) scored LaRoche and knocked Sanches out of the game.

Sanches finished the day without recording an out and allowing three runs - one earned - and with Phoenix leading Surprise 7-1.

The Scorions put two ninth inning runs on the board, but ultimately lost 9-3.

Phillies prospects Travis Minix, Ryan Cameron and Scott Mathieson didn't play in the championship game. Mathieson will start play as a member of his native Canadian team in the Olympic Qualifying round starting Tuesday in Arizona. Phillies center field prospect Shane Victorino wasn't a member of the AFL contingent, but he too will play in the Olympic Qualifying round as a member of Team USA.

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