The National League defeated the American League 9-3 in the Arizona League All Star game, which featured Atlanta Braves prospect Justyn-Henry Malloy. Malloy first got into the game as a reserve in the fifth inning, pinch-running and then getting forced out at second base. Malloy went to bat for the first time in the sixth inning and grounded out to Luisangel Acuna for the first out of the inning. In his final plate appearance he went up 2-0 in the count, but after a borderline strike one call ended up striking out. Braves prospect Austin Smith was on the National League roster but ended up pitching for the American League side in the bottom of the ninth inning. Smith touched 97 and mixed in some sharp sliders including one to get a whiff from Cardinal’s prospect Masyn Winn. He recorded one out and allowed a double and a run.
The National League squad got to American League starter Noah Denoyer (BAL) before he had a chance to settle in. Zac Veen (COL) led off in the bottom of the first inning with a walk then was able to advance to third base when right field Heston Kjerstad (BAL) misplayed a Jackson Merrill (SDP) base hit and allowed it to sneak past him. With two runners in scoring position with no outs the National League had a prime chance to put a big number up early, but could only get one run on an Andy Pages (LAD) sacrifice fly before going down. The next half inning belonged to the American League, as the Blue Jays Zach Britton snuck a ball in down the line for a double to kick off a rally. Colt Keith (DET) doubled in Britton to tie the game at one, and Yankees super-prospect Jasson Dominguez gave the AL a lead on the second consecutive two out double.
The American League bullpen was stellar after that first inning, combining for three scoreless innings and only one hits allowed. The offense then added insurance in the top of the fifth inning off of Giants prospect Tyler Myrick. Myrick walked two batters in the inning before Kjerstad made up for his earlier error by driving in a run on an RBI single to extend the American League lead to 3-1. Myrick allowed a third walk with two out. Myrick narrowly escaped the inning without more damage as TJ Rumfield (NYY) cracked a ball just foul down the line in left field before striking out to end the inning.
Over to the bottom of the fifth inning the National League brought the fight, making up the deficit to answer the AL’s offense. Rece Hinds (CIN) led off the inning with a base hit, and this brought us our first appearance from a Brave with Justyn-Henry Malloy coming in to pinch run. Malloy was forced out on a ground ball from Drew Millas (WAS) but the National League still had some spark in the bats. Nick Gonzales (PIT) ripped a ball into the right center field gap which scored Millas from first base to make it 3-2. Zac Veen followed with a walk and a pop up from Jackson Merrill fell just out of the reach of a diving Ronny Simon (TBR) to score Gonzales and tie the game. Jordan Walker (STL) then put the NL on top with a high fly ball to right field that burned Kjerstad for a ground rule double that scored two runs. This chased Tyler Mattison (DET) from the game, the first pitcher for either side to be pulled mid-inning. The move didn’t work as his replacement Antonio Menendez (TBR) immediately gave up a long home run to Cubs prospect Matt Mervis to make it 7-3. Menendez did finally retire the side on an infield pop up, and five runs were charged to Mattison in 2⁄3 of an inning.
NL pitcher pitching against NL batters. pic.twitter.com/qOSbKs2yTJ— MiLB Clips (@MiLBClips) November 6, 2022
Luisangel Acuna (TEX) drew a walk in his first plate appearance in the top of the sixth inning, but the American League came up empty-handed in their first opportunity to respond to the NL’s big inning. Orlando Ribalta (WAS) and Spencer Bivens (SFG) then pitched scoreless innings of relief for the National League to send the game into the ninth inning. Mets prospect Bailey Horn was chosen to close out the game, and a bit of nifty defense helped him. Masyn Winn (STL) dropped a ground ball in the whole, but used his elite arm strength to beat the runner to first on a strong throw. Kjerstad followed by flying out to Malloy in left field. Horn then issued a walk to Werner Blakely (LAA), but it was of no consequence. Horn struck out Lawrence Butler (OAK), sealing the Fall Stars game as a National League win. The sides played the bottom of the ninth to get these guys a bit more exposure, and that paid off for Jeferson Quero (MIL) who led off with a single. Robert Perez Jr. (SEA) made a fine diving stop and flip to the pitcher at first base for the first out, which ended the day of Rangers pitcher Grant Wolfram. Because there are no rules and these teams just want to get these guys reps, this brought in Austin Smith to pitch for the American League side. Smith allowed an RBI double to the first batter he faced, becoming the first pitcher in baseball history to help his team by allowing a run. Smith got a ground out from the next batter which ended his day and brought in another National league pitcher. Tink Hence (STL) allowed an RBI single to Andy Pages before a long fly ball off of the bat of Cardinals teammate Jordan Walker fell just short of the wall and was caught by Hjerstad for the final out.