The Saguaros coughed up four runs in the top of the ninth but came back with three in the bottom of the frame for the walkoff victory over Peoria.
Rangers' right-handed pitching prospect Neil Ramirez got the starting nod for Surprise. The 22-year-old threw 26 of his 37 pitches for strikes in three scoreless innings, yielding one hit, walking one, and striking out two.
Ramirez threw his fastball between 91-95 mph in the outing––about normal velocity. He reached 96 mph at times during the regular season and touched 98 during a relief appearance in spring training this past March.
The former first-round pick threw seven changeups at 84-86 mph and induced a popout, a lineout, and two swinging strikes (including one strikeout). His three 77-79 mph curveballs went for a swinging strike (strikeout), a foul ball, and a ball.
Ramirez's curveball and changeup both flash plus. The two secondary pitches were inconsistent as he appeared to tire late in the season, but they were excellent early in the year. His change was a particularly impressive development given that he had never shown much of a feel for the offering before the 2011 campaign. Ramirez now throws his change with good arm action, and the pitch has deception with good tumbling and sinking action.
Reliever Ryan Kelly, who finished the season on a strong note at High-A Myrtle Beach, twirled a perfect sixth inning with one strikeout. He threw nine strikes and four balls in the frame.
Kelly got a groundout, a strikeout, and a flyout. His fastball worked at 91-92 mph, which is on the low side for him. Kelly often works between 92-96 mph during the regular season. He found more success late in the year after mixing in an 86-88 mph cutter, helping make his fastball more deceptive. Kelly mixed in three cutters and three 80-81 mph downer curveballs during Friday's contest. His strikeout came on a 92 mph fastball against Logan Schafer.
Third baseman Mike Olt reached base three times with a single and two walks in five trips. He also struck out once. Left fielder Ryan Strausborger was 0-for-4 with two punchouts.
The Netherlands remained undefeated in the tournament on Friday by defeating the U.S.––7-5––and handing the Americans their second loss within a week. Cleanup hitter and designated hitter Chad Tracy was without a hit in five at-bats. Third baseman Tom Mendonca went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and a run scored.
Begins October 11.
Begins October 12.
Begins October 14.
Begins November 4.
Subscribe to LoneStarDugout.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on LoneStarDugout.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.
Sample the LoneStarDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual LoneStarDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.