Leesman leads stellar 'pen in Glendale's shutout
Six Desert Dogs allow three combined hits; Cavazos-Galvez goes 5-for-5
With the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning Thursday and Jorge Alfaro, the Rangers' No. 1 prospect, stepping to the plate, Glendale manager Bill Richardson made a move to his bullpen, summoning left-hander Charlie Leesman.
The White Sox left-hander thought Alfaro would be swinging early in the count and busted him inside with a fastball. The approach paid off as Alfaro hit a routine ground ball to third baseman Colin Moran, who stepped on third base to end the inning and the threat.
"I figured that chances are he was swinging first pitch with the bases loaded, so I wanted to throw something not easily hit," Leesman said. "I put good rotation on it and kind of jammed him like I was planning."
It would be the last time a Glendale pitcher would be in trouble Thursday against Surprise. The Desert Dogs rode a remarkable effort from their pitching staff to an 11-0 victory at Camelback Ranch. Six Glendale pitchers combined for the three-hit shutout.
The accomplishment's meaning was not lost on Leesman. He has been to the Arizona Fall League once before, and he knows that between the dry air and tired arms, the environment is much friendlier to hitters than pitchers.
"I know this is 90-10 in favor of hitters out here," Leesman said. "To put up a shutout is pretty impressive with everyone who threw tonight."
Right-hander Stephen McCray started the game before giving way to Leesman, Chris Bassitt, Kevin Vance, Pedro Baez and Mike Thomas. They quieted a Surprise offense that had scored 16 runs in its first two games. The three hits -- one each by Tyler Naquin, Henry Urrutia and Joe Wendle -- were all singles.
With their pitchers shutting down the Saguaros, the Desert Dogs offense did its part. Right fielder Yorman Rodriguez led off the second inning with a home run off right-hander Will Roberts to open the scoring.
Glendale's offense continued to add to the lead until it broke the game open with six runs in the seventh inning. Left fielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez went 5-for-5 with two runs and two doubles to lead the Desert Dogs. But it truly was a team effort as all nine players in the lineup either scored a run or got a hit.
"To put up 11 runs, it's great to see," Leesman said. "The offense and defense are playing great all around. It's good to see that we have a well-rounded team."
The all-around effort netted Glendale its first victory of the young season. Though there is still plenty of baseball left, Leesman said it was good to get in the win column.
"It's only the third game, but getting the first one is important," Leesman said. "It just gives everyone confidence to build from there."