Ian Happ Hammers Two Home Runs, Leads Solar Sox to AFL Championship Title
It’s not exactly the World Series, but it’s a start. The Arizona Fall League is typically a league that is littered with incredibly talented young prospects. To make it to the AFL Championship Game is more about having fun than winning a title, but it’s also about watching some truly talented guys swing the lumber.
Today’s AFL Championship Game pitted the Cubs’ affiliate Mesa Solar Sox (16-15-1) against the Surprise Saguaros (17-14-1). Ian Happ was the star of the game and he lead the Solar Sox to the easy 6-1 win (Box Score).
In Happ’s first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning he singled, moving baserunner Greg Allen from first to third base, and was driven in when Brian Anderson (Miami Marlins) hit a home run to left field giving the Solar Sox a 3-0 lead. That’d be the last RBI a player not named Ian Happ would drive in for the Solar Sox.
When Happ came up to bat in the bottom of the third inning, with a man on first base, he crushed a two-run home run over the right field wall, making the score 5-0 in favor of the Solar Sox. He wasn’t done there.
Happ would also hit a lead-off double in the bottom of the fifth inning but he didn’t end up scoring. In the bottom of the seventh inning Happ would again lead off the inning with a hit, this time a solo home run from the right side of the plate – his second home run on the day – giving the Solar Sox a 6-1 lead and capping off an incredible day at the plate for the Cubs’ top prospect.
Oh, and Ian showed some leather today too. In the top of the fifth inning, Saguaros’ batter Mitch Garver hit a sharp shot to left field that, off the bat, looked like it could be trouble. Happ made a nice leaping grab to rob Garver and keep the runner at first base. Here’s a video clip of that play: