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Peoria takes AFL title

By Josh Boyd and Chris Sears
November 25, 2002

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--The Arizona Fall League came to an end in anti-climactic fashion on Saturday as the Peoria Javelinas defeated the Scottsdale Scorpions 7-1.

Peoria starter Josh Stewart (White Sox), who lowered his league-best ERA to 0.69, allowed one unearned run over six innings for the victory.

"I went out there and challenged them and kept our guys in the game," Stewart said, "and it worked out well. I got ground balls when I needed them and we did a pretty good job at the plate, too. I was just trying to keep guys off balance and trying to work out of the zone."

The Javelinas had their final game of the regular season cancelled when 12 players, manager Razor Shines and both trainers went to the hospital with severe flu-like symptoms.

"Most of these kids came out here to play not able to eat and still weak," Shines said. "But as you can see they played as hard as they could, and I am proud of every one of them."

If the Javelinas were still feeling the after effects of the illness, the Scottsdale pitchers showed mercy by issuing 13 walks. Scorpions righthander Bobby Jenks (Angels), who led the league in strikeouts, allowed four runs and four walks in four innings to suffer the loss. The bullpen didn't provide much relief either, as Luke Hudson (Reds) came in an issued four more walks in 1 2/3 innings.

Scottsdale first baseman Ken Harvey (Royals) was presented the first-ever Joe Black Award as the AFL MVP before the game. Harvey shattered the league standards for batting average (.479), slugging percentage (.752) and on-base percentage (.537). He was 1-for-4 in the championship game.

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