–Royals’ Nick Dini, Nicky Lopez fuel AFL win

November 1, 2017


2017-10-31 01:01:24


The roommates were proud of how their team played, citing great team chemistry, how much fun they’re having and how they support each other.

“We’re each other’s biggest fans,” Lopez said. “We want each other to succeed and same with the rest of the team, too. We want them to succeed, too. … We have a good chemistry going and it’s just continuing to grow.”

The team started off slow and didn’t get a run until the fifth inning. Dini said sometimes “you got to tip your caps,” and acknowledged Peoria pitcher Max Povse, the Mariners’ No. 9 prospect, “was making good pitches early in the game.” He was also confident that as the game progressed, he would be getting better opportunities as he kept grinding and wearing out the pitcher.

“Baseball is a game of adjustments, so the first time around your lineup, we’re swinging at the high fastball that the kid [Povse] likes to throw and we were playing into his game instead of ours,” Lopez said. “After the first time around, we got adjusted and made our necessary adjustments to succeed.” The team started to catch fire thanks to this combination and the work of Cardinals No. 27 prospect Andrew Knizner, who scored along with Dini in the fifth inning.

The Saguaros pitchers kept Peoria in check, allowing just two runs in the second inning and a third in the eighth. Late runs scored by Lopez, Knizer, Kevin Padlo (Rays’ No. 28) and LaMonte Wade (Twins’ No. 17) helped keep the pressure firmly on the Javelinas.

“Thirty-game schedule, every game counts and every team out here is very good, so any win you can get in this league is big and going help you later on when you’re making a playoff push,” Dini said.

The Javelinas drop to 10-7 after this loss but are still in first place in the AFL West. These two teams will meet up once again on Tuesday, this time in Surprise.

Omar Soussi is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between and ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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