Tony Zych earns win in AFL Rising Stars Game
It was more a case of being at the right place at the right time, but Cubs farmhand Tony Zych earned the win in Saturday afternoon’s Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game, as the East team scored a 9-4 victory over the West.
Zych entered the game with one out and a man on first in the fifth inning. Reds speedster Billy Hamilton singled on a bunt and advanced to third on a throwing error by first baseman Jonathan Singleton (Astros). Pinch-runner Nick Ahmed (Braves) scored from first on the error. Former Cubs prospect Hak-Ju Lee (Rays) singled up the middle, scoring Hamilton and giving the West a 4-3 lead. Padres prospect Rymer Liriano doubled on a soft fly ball to right, putting runners on second and third. After that, Zych settled down, striking out Hunter Morris (Brewers) and getting Nick Franklin (Mariners) to pop out to shortstop.
But luck was on Zych’s side because in the bottom half of the fifth, the East offense scored six, putting the game away. Zych was the only Cubs prospect to play in the game. Javier Baez also earned an invite, but a thumb injury effectively ended his AFL season.
On Friday the Solar Sox lost 7-5 at the hands of Peoria.
Outfielder Matt Szczur went 0-for-4 with a walk and drove in a run on a fielder’s choice in the second inning. He also stole his seventh base of the season in the second inning. Kevin Rhoderick saw three batters, getting the first two to fly out to the outfield. The third batter, Cody Asche (Phillies), doubled and Rhoderick was removed. Asche would score later score on a Rymer Liriano single.
Mesa hosts Scottsdale Monday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 local time. Dae-Eun Rhee is scheduled to pitch for the Solar Sox.
How the Cubs have fared: