The Arizona Fall League played what was supposed to be their annual all-star game, but for the fans who attended it felt more like a homerun derby, as the West team defeated the East by a final score 9-2, crushing five homeruns along the way.
On Saturday the best players of the Arizona Fall League suited upfor the annual Fall Stars Game. The player were separated into two teams based on their fall league teams’ location in the greater Phoenix area, the West and the East.
Surprise Stadium, the spring training home of the Kansas City Royals and TexasRangers, played host to the game. The 6,529 fan in attendance filled thefield levels seats as the starting lineups were announced.
After the first two and half innings the game looked like it was going to be a pitchers. However the West started the scoring in the bottom of the third on an error by starting third baseman Kris Bryant. They would score again that inning on a fielder’s choice and went into the fourth up 2-0.
Then after a scoreless top half, the West extended their lead when Brett Nicholas hit a opposite field homerun to lead-off the inning. The West would tack on one more later in the inning on a wild pitch that allowed Mookie Betts to score from third and put the West up 4-0.
With that same score in the bottom of the sixth inning Stefen Romero launched a two-run jack to right field, once again extending the West’s lead, giving them a 6-0 advantage.
The East finally got on the board in the top of the seventh when Mason William drove a single through the right side of the infield for a single, driving in Adrian Nieto. The West answered back in the bottom of the frame when Nicholas launched his second solo homerun of the night, putting the West back up by six at the end of seven innings by a score of 7-1.
In the top of the eighth Bryant reached on a bloop single to shallow right field and later came around to score for the East’s second run of the night.
The West would add two more runs in the bottom of the inning on a solo homerun by Romero, his second of the night; and another solo homer from Garin Cecchini, giving them a 9-2 lead.
Jonas Dufek would come on to pitch with two outs in the top of the ninth and tied down the victory for the West in the 2013 Fall Stars Game.
Nicholas was awarded the Fall Stars Game MVP for his efforts ending the night three for four with two homeruns and two RBIs. The Arizona native had over 30 family members at the game.
Nicholas said “I know that a lot of guys have played in this game, and it feels nice to be able to etch my name in there and show I can play with these guys.”