The old saying in baseball is “finish strong”. This is exactly what Phillies prospects, catcher Logan O’Hoppe and first baseman Rixon Wingrove, did on Saturday night for the Adelaide Giants in the next to last game of the Australian Baseball League regular season.
O’Hoppe made already the best defensive play by a catcher of the young 2020 baseball season with a leaping catch of a throw and then tag at the plate to complete a 1-4-2 double play in the top of the seventh inning with the game still in doubt. Wingrove went deep with a long three-run homer to right center to ice the game in the eight inning.
O’Hoppe’s catch and tag on the backend of the double play will be one of the best web gems of the entire 2020 baseball season at any level. His seventh inning had to be one of the best innings a player could possibly have. In addition to the great defensive play at the plate in the top half of the inning, he hit a RBI double in the bottom half to put the game out of reach at 6-0.
Wingrove put the icing on the cake with a three-run homer the bottom of the eight to finish off a 13-0 win over Geelong-Korea. He is in the midst of a 7 for 14 and three walk stretch over his last four games. In those four games he has scored six runs to go along with five RBIs.
With one game remaining in the regular season, the Giants have clinched the best record in the ABL. They will start the best-0f-three semi-final playoff round next Friday.
The Giant have received great starting pitching to go with the play of O’Hoppe and Wingrove as they enter the ABL playoffs. They will be hard to beat with that combination.
It will be interesting too see where the Phillies assign O’Hoppe and Wingrove in the 2020 minor league season. Last season, O’Hoppe caught in Williamsport in the NY-Penn League and Wingrove led the Gulf Coast League in RBIs. Both of them were All-Stars in their respective leagues. The two 19 year-olds will be starting the Phillies minor league spring training camp coming off a strong ABL season!