Finally, Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Jack Brannigan had his breakout game in the Arizona Fall League. In addition, the Pirates pitching staff in the fall league impressed against a potent Peoria lineup Wednesday night.
The Pirates had six representatives Wednesday night with Jase Bowen, Brannigan, Nick Dombkowski, J.C. Flowers, Cameron Junker, and Tyler Samaniego.
Combined with the efforts of the pitching staff and Brannigan, Salt River defeated Peoria 7-4. In addition, Salt River became the first opponent to beat Peoria in their first nine games of the season.
Brannigan seems to have found his groove again after very uncomfortable looking at-bats early into the Fall League. Brannigan went 2-3 on the night with two doubles, a stolen base, and two RBIs.
Brannigan’s first at-bat was his only out of the game when he grounded out to the shortstop. In the third inning, however, Brannigan sliced a ball down the third base line for an RBI double.
In addition, Brannigan’s double registered at just 83 mph with a -17-degree launch angle.
The Notre Dame product’s most impressive at-bat came in the bottom of the sixth with a runner on second base. Brannigan worked the count to 2-2, received a sinker, a touch outside, and took the ball to right field for an opposite-field RBI double.
Brannigan’s second double registered at 95.2 mph off the bat with a 25-degree launch angle while traveling 365 feet. In addition, Brannigan’s final at-bat was a hit-by-pitch.
Although Bowen didn’t get any hits, he showcased some professional at-bats with two walks while going 0-3 at the plate. Bowen’s first walk was a six-pitch at-bat, and his second walk was a five-pitch at-bat.
In addition, Bowen struck out once.
Dombkowski showed some grit in his first start of the Fall League. Dombkowski allowed a walk and a single after a leadoff strikeout in the first inning.
The next batter, Dombkowski, placed a slider perfectly at the bottom of the zone for the batter to get on top of and roll into an inning-ending double play.
Dombkowski’s second inning was rough, with two walks, a passed ball, and a single. Despite that, he got out of the inning, allowing no runs to score.
Dombkowski’s night ended with him going two innings while giving up two hits, three walks, no runs, and striking out four.
Flowers looked solid Wednesday night. The lone run he gave up was a solo shot to Kyle Mazardo. Truth be told, Flowers placed a slider down and into the left, and it wasn’t a lousy placement at all. Right on the edge, Mazardo just handled it well and crushed it.
Flowers’ next two innings of work were smooth as he allowed just two more hits and struck out three. The Florida State product finished his night with three innings pitched, three hits, one run, no walks, and four strikeouts.
Junker did not have a warm welcome as he came into the game. Instantly, he gave up a double, single, single, but he kept the game knotted at two apiece.
Two out of the three hits weren’t terrible pitches from Junker. The leadoff double was a four-seam out of the zone and high, and the RBI single was a four-seam up and in.
Junker’s night ended with one inning pitched, three hits, one run, no walks, and two strikeouts. In addition, Junker was awarded the win.
The Pittsburgh Pirates prospect had a solid outing for Salt River. Samaniego forced a leadoff groundout to Jacob Berry and then struck out Dominic Keegan.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a perfect inning as the lefty allowed a two-out walk and a single, but he got back on track with an inning-ending strikeout of Jakob Marsee.
Samaniego’s night ended with one inning pitched, one hit, no runs, one walk, and two strikeouts.