Ahead in the count, 3-0, against Glendale starter Michael Lorenzen on Monday, Andrew Susac watched a fastball go past for strike one. It had been a good pitch to hit, but after the first three pitches had badly missed the plate, Susac was willing to wait.
His patience paid off as Lorenzen threw him another fastball, this one higher in the zone. Susac didn't take this one. He swung and drove the ball to right-center field for a two-run home run, giving Scottsdale a three-run lead in the second inning.
"I tried not to do too much with it and it ended up being a home run," Susac said. "That's how the game works sometimes."
Susac's home run proved to be the difference Monday as the Scorpions defeated the Desert Dogs, 5-1, at Scottsdale Stadium. They have won three games in a row in the Arizona Fall League.
Susac said he has been working on a small adjustment to make his hands quicker to the ball. It worked against the Desert Dogs and he finished the night 3-for-4.
"I got in good counts, and it was just one of those days I put the bat on the ball," Susac said.
Scottsdale also got a solid night from center fielder Mason Williams. The Yankees' No. 2 prospect went 1-for-3 with two runs, two walks and a stolen base.
While Susac shined at the plate, the Scottsdale pitchers also had a good night throwing to him. Right-hander Aaron Northcraft set the tone with three scoreless innings to start the game. The Braves' No. 10 prospect struck out four batters and allowed two hits.
After a pair of subpar outings, Monday was Northcraft's best start in the AFL.
"He did a great job establishing his fastball early," Susac said. "That's what he wanted to do coming into this game. His sinker was good and its life was there."
Glendale scored its lone run in the eighth inning against right-hander Jeurys Familia. After the Desert Dogs loaded the bases thanks to two walks and a single, Familia threw a wild pitch with two outs, allowing Marcus Semien to score.
The Desert Dogs threatened again in the ninth inning, loading the bases with two outs against right-hander Cody Satterwhite. But Eddie Rosario flew out to right field to end the game.
While Northcraft had his best start of the fall, Lorenzen continued to struggle in the AFL. He gave up four runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings against Scottsdale. The Reds' No. 6 prospect has given up 15 runs (14 earned) and 19 hits in 9 2/3 innings this fall.
Even though Lorenzen wasn't at his best, his ability was still evident. Like so many other days in the AFL, the Scorpions saw a parade of some of the top pitchers in the Minor Leagues.
Susac said he is enjoying the challenge of playing against so many top prospects on a daily basis.
"The talent is the best in the country," Susac said. "I'm having a great time. This is a great place to be. It's a true contest of the best of the best."