The Peoria Javelinas rallied in the ninth to tie the game and won in the 10th.
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — What a way to end the Arizona Fall League season.
After failing to come through with runners on base during the first eight innings, the Peoria Javelinas scored two runs in the ninth to send the game into extras. Then in the 10th, Atlanta Braves prospect Braxton Davidson capped off a great season with a towering walkoff blast to right-field, the second walkoff win in the championship game in Fall League history and first since 2001, giving Peoria a 3-2 win over the Salt River Rafters and back-to-back AFL championships on Saturday afternoon at Scottsdale Stadium.
Unfortunately, Davidson appeared to injure himself running the bases before reaching home plate to celebrate with his teammates. After the game, the 22-year-old was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated for a possible left foot fracture.
San Diego Padres prospect and AFL Fall Stars Game MVP Buddy Reed tried to encompass the emotions of winning a title in such grand fashion.
“Indescribable,” Reed said.”Braxton comes up, last man up, we all said he was going to do something special, hits a walk-off homer. Rolls his ankle, unfortunately, but it was huge.”The Peoria Javelinas took home the Arizona Fall League championship in dramatic fashion with a walkoff home run in extra innings. @joejacquezaz was there for it all.Click To Tweet
Milwaukee Brewers prospect Keston Hiura, who took home Fall League MVP honors after leading the league with 33 RBI, tied the game with a single to center after Seattle Mariners prospect Ian Miller scored on a wild pitch by Colorado Rockies pitcher Justin Lawrence during Hiura’s at-bat. Lawrence also blew the save in the Fall Stars Game.
“It feels great,” Hiura said. “This was a big day for all of us, and to be able to cap off this Fall League with a championship, we’re so excited about that and couldn’t do it with any other team.”
The Rafters pitchers held the Javelians, who led the Fall League in home runs and were one of the top overall offenses for most of the season, in check with runners in scoring position for the first eight innings. Despite walking five batters, Rafters starter and Marlins prospect Jordan Yamamoto worked out of trouble with six strikeouts and key double plays behind him.
But Reed said the Javelinas never gave up, because they knew at any moment the tables could turn. As Reed said, it is baseball after all.
“You hear all our guys saying never give up, we’re the Javs and like everybody said, we did what we had to do, we came back,” Reed said. “It’s not about how you start as everybody talks about, it’s how you finished and we finished strong.”