Peoria 5, Salt River 3: Hedges Leads Javs to Victory Over Rafters

USA TODAY Sports

The Javelinas captured their second win of the AFL season this afternoon, and it was future Friar Austin Hedges who knocked in the winning run.

Tommy Medica and Austin Hedges hit in the 3- and 4-spots, respectively, in today's starting lineup for Peoria. In the top of the 1st inning, Medica grounded out, allowing the runner to reach 3rd base. Hedges then drove in the run with a two-out double to left field. The Salt River Rafters tied the game in the bottom of the inning and then took a two-run lead in the 2nd. But the Javelinas made things even once more in the 4th inning on a two-run homer by Jonathan Meyer of the Astros organization.

The score remained tied until the 8th inning. Once again, Tommy Medica hit a groundout that allowed a baserunner to advance, this time to second base where he would represent the go-ahead run. Hedges brought him home with a broken bat single, and that ended up being the winning run. The catcher finished his day 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Medica went 0-for-3 with a walk, but was instrumental in helping Hedges bring those two runs home.

But it wasn't just the offense that shone in today's matchup. Hedges had a stellar day behind the plate as well, showing off the arm that has made him such a hot prospect for the Padres. He caught two runners stealing and picked off another runner at first base. Adys Portillo also pitched himself out of a jam and found some success on the mound. He came in to pitch the 7th inning and things started off shaky as he hit the leadoff batter with a pitch and then walked the next. After a sacrifice bunt, Portillo issued another walk. But then a strikeout and a lineout ended the inning and the threat, and with the go-ahead run coming home in the top of the 8th, Portillo ended up with the winning decision.

So after starting the season with back-to-back losses, Peoria has now pulled to .500 with these back-to-back wins. The players will be getting tomorrow and Sunday off for the AFL's inaugural Bowman Hitting Challenge, in which Medica will be taking part. The Javs will pick things back up on Monday against the Glendale Desert Dogs at 5:35pm.

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