June 21, 2019

The Arizona League generally starts during the final week of June and features many new draft picks and international free agents. On this date a year ago, many of those players on the AZL Indians Blue had a break out game against the Reds as they started off a season that ended in the AZL championship round.

In this 17-6 win against their rivals from down the street Will Brennan, Jose Tena, Jhonkensy Noel and Wilfri Peralta all had three hits with the first three scoring at least three runs. Peralta and catcher Michael Amditis had two doubles each with Peralta stealing another base as well.

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Brennan hits safely for Indians Blue against the Reds on June 21st, 2019. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

On the mound, Diarlin Jimenez struggled early, but Kevin Kelly, Zach Hart, Eric Mock and Nate Ocker combined to allow two runs on four hits with one walk and eight k’s over the last six innings.

The real star of this game and, eventually, the entire season for team Blue was Noel. The powerful corner infielder played first on this game and hit his first home run in the USA in the first inning with Tena on third for the early Indians lead (celebration pictured at top). He walked in his next at bat, then hit an RBI single in the fourth, scoring Tena again. To try something different, he hit again in the fifth inning, again with Tena on third, but this time he just hit a sac fly to left to score the speedy second baseman.

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Tena bunts during the Indians Blue June 21st, 2019 against the Reds. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Tena made the final out in the sixth, so he wasn’t on when Noel came to the plate in the seventh, but the big guy managed to score another run with a solo home run to the opposite field in right. Taking a best of his previous plate appearances, Noel walked in the eighth following three other straight walks, including Tena. This time Brennan was the runner batted in, although both Tena and Noel scored on the following Amditis double.

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Noel is congratulated at home by Daritzon Feliz after his second home run on June 21st, 2019. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

The two doubles and six RBI were just a start for Noel who hit six out and knocked in 42 runs as a 17 year old in the AZL. Tena also proved this game was no fluke as he batted .325 during his age 18 season with 30 runs scored.

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