It took 10 innings, but the Mesa Solar Sox overcame the Phoenix Desert Dogs, 3-2 on the opening day of the 2008 Arizona Fall League Season.
Mesa got on the board first, taking two runs from Phoenix starter Max Scherzer (Arizona), who went on to work 7 innings. A fielding error by Desert Dog Rusty Ryal (Arizona) allowed John Raynor (Florida) to reach. He was awarded second when the ball went into the first base dugout. William Rhymes' (Detroit) ground out moved Raynor to 3rd. Casper Wells (Detroit) then went yard over the left field wall to put the Sox up two runs.
The Solar Sox hung onto the lead until the bottom of the sixth. With two outs on the board, Evan Frey (Arizona) singled out to left, and advanced to second on a passed ball by Mesa catcher Steve Clevenger (Chi Cubs). Eric Young (Colorado) would get plunked by a Kris Median (Atlanta) pitch, before Ryal redeemed himself for his earlier error by tripling out to right field, bringing in two.
Aussie Shane Lindsay (Colorado) worked the 8th for the Dogs before giving way to Daryl Harang (Toronto).
Arizona's Hector Ambriz would give up the game winning run in the 10th, walking Clevenger, who advanced to 2nd on a Darwin Barney (Chi Cubs) sac bunt. A wild pitch by Ambriz put Clevenger on 3rd, and Raynor singled him in.
Despite singles by Twins prospects Danny Valencia and Dustin Martin in the bottom of the 10th, the Dogs could not pull out the game, with Josh Donaldson (Oakland) popping out and pinch hitters Ryan Patterson (Toronto) and Michael McKenry (Colorado) going down on strikes.
Valencia would go 2-for-4 in the contest, Martin was 1-for-4. Former Miracle Steve Tolleson, who spelled Ryal at short, finished up 0-for-1 on the night.
The two teams rematch tonight at Mesa HoHoKam Park for a 7:05 PM (Mountain Time) game.
In other AzFL action, the Peoria Javelinas downed the Sunrise Surprise 10-3, while the Peoria Saguaros topped the Scottsdale Scorpions, 9-3.