Tribe's Naquin sparks Saguaros to win

Indians' No. 5 prospect collects three hits and plates key run

Tyler Naquin is batting .355 with six runs scored in seven games for Surprise. (Jason Wise/

By Robert Emrich / | October 18, 2013 5:08 PM ET

Tyler Naquin is having a blast playing with his fellow Indians prospects. That connection came up big for the Saguaros on Friday.

The Indians' No. 5 prospect was 3-for-5 with a run scored and plated a key run as Surprise beat previously undefeated Mesa, 11-9.

Naquin, who singled in the second inning, walked and scored on Brewers prospect Mitch Haniger's single in the fourth. After the Saguaros took a 10-9 lead in the top of the ninth, Naquin extended the lead with an RBI single.

"I felt great," Naquin said. "I was going up there with a little bit of a different approach for each pitcher. But I tried to stay in middle of the field. I was not trying to do too much, just get on base, hit doubles and let other guys drive me in."

Naquin's third hit capped a back-and-forth game, as the lead changed hand five times. The Saguaros' two-run top of the ninth followed the Solar Sox's game-tying the bottom of the eighth.

"We just kept the same approach," the Texas native said. "Every team out here is made up of the best players in every level of each organization. We said that's not the way to lose it."

Fellow Cleveland farmhand Joe Wendle also delivered, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and driving in the winning run with a sacrifice fly.

"Joe Wendle came up with the big sac fly and we got hits when we needed them," Naquin said. "It's a blast. I live with Wendle and [Tony] Wolters and [Jake] Lowery and Will Roberts. We all live in a house together out here. It's a blast.

"It's a good time, especially on the field, especially when you get a couple of us on the field together. Me and Joe were able to connect on a big relay throw and keep a run from scoring. He knows me, so he kind of knew how far to come out. Whenever you have that connection, it helps."

Travis Shaw (Red Sox) homered and drove in four runs while Garin Cecchini, Boston's No. 7 prospect, was 3-for-6 with two runs scored.

Cubs' No. 4 prospect Kris Bryant homered twice -- his third and fourth longballs of the fall -- while driving in four runs for the Solar Sox, and Angels' No. 2 prospect C.J. Cron scored twice. Naquin tipped his hat to his opponents.

"Obviously, they're good, in order to beat the best of the best teams out here," the 22-year-old outfielder said. "They've got a couple good lefties and their lineup is good. Bryant, Cron, those guys can really hit. But everybody out here is a dang good ballplayer. You can't take anything away from anyone."

David Goforth (Brewers) recorded a pair of strikeouts, retiring the only batters he faced, to earn the win in relief for the Saguaros. Keith Couch (Red Sox) retired the side in order in the ninth for his first save.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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