Reds' Vincej launches walk-off grand slam in AFL

Reds' Vincej launches walk-off grand slam in AFL

PEORIA, Ariz. -- A grand slam by Reds prospect Zach Vincej in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Peoria Javelinas over the Scottsdale Scorpions, 5-3, in an Arizona Fall League game at Peoria Sports Complex on Tuesday.

With his team down 3-1, Vincej was able to connect on a pitch from Mets prospect Corey Taylor to give Peoria its ninth-straight win.

"I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit," Vincej said. "It had to be perfect."


This was Vincej's third home run of the AFL season, and he currently owns a .346 batting average.

Vincej's big moment was set in motion following a double by Ray's No. 15 prospect Justin Williams. Another double by Padres' prospect Franchy Cordero gave Peoria its first run of the game after Williams was able to score.

Orioles prospect Austin Wynns was then walked and Rays' prospect Kean Wong was able to load the bases because of a fielding error by Yankees No. 2 prospect Gleyber Torres.

Vincej credited his teammates play before he got up as motivation for his last at-bat.

"Some clutch at-bats before me," Vincej said. "(Williams) with the double, Franchy with the double. A walk or two here. Everyone was competing that last inning. I just wanted to do the same."

But once Vincej stepped up to bat, he knew that the pressure was all on Taylor.

"His back was against the wall with bases loaded and I knew that going in," Vincej said.

In a 3-1 count, Vincej finally got a pitch he wanted and ruined what was a solid performance from Scottsdale up to that point.

"I just tried to put a good swing on something and get the barrel on something, and I was fortunate enough to get it," Vincej said. "It felt really good."

Even with his team down up until his last hit, Vincej said that they never give up and play hard through every last pitch.

"We never counted each other out," Vincej said. "We always believe in each other and that's the thing. We always play to the last out. "

It's not only in this game either. Peoria currently leads the Arizona Fall League at 10-1-2, and Vincej said that they don't letting the winning distract them from always playing their best.

"Some teams, they get on a nice little streak and they kind of get complacent sometimes," Vincej said. "But I feel like for us, we just go out and we try to compete every single day and it shows."

Michael Boylan is a graduate 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.