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Sod Poodles Drop Series Opener to Naturals 9-3, Remain One Game Back in Playoff Race

June 12, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Amarillo Sod Poodles News Release

AMARILLO, Texas - The Sod Poodles fell to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals by a final score of 9-3 in the series opener Tuesday night in front of 6,736 fans at HODGETOWN. Offensively, Amarillo was led by Peter Van Gansen who went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored. The loss drops the Sod Poodles record to 30-32 but Amarillo still remains one game back in the first-half standings with six games to go after the North division swept all other South teams Tuesday.

In the top of the third inning, the Naturals jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. The first run came when Sod Poodles starter Jesse Scholtens walked Emmanuel Rivera which allowed Kort Peterson to score and then one batter later Anderson Miller hit a two-RBI single.

The Naturals tacked on one more run in the fourth when Nick Heath hit an RBI single to center field to give Northwest Arkansas the 4-0 advantage.

Scholtens finished his night after tossing four innings where he allowed three earned runs on five hits. He struck out four Naturals batters and received his second loss of the season, dropping his record to 3-2 this season.

Northwest Arkansas plated three runs in the fifth inning to extend their lead to 7-0. The first two runs came when Khalil Lee hit a two-run home run to left field. Meibrys Viloria brought home the third run of the inning with an RBI double to left field.

The Sod Poodles cut into the Naturals lead in the sixth inning when Luis Torrens hit a two-RBI single to center field to make the score 7-2.

In the top of the seventh, the Naturals pushed their lead to 8-2 as Taylor Featherston doubled down the right field line and then came around to score via a throwing error on Edward Olivares. Northwest Arkansas stretched their lead to 9-2 in the eighth as Travis Jones singled to center field which scored Kort Peterson.

The Soddies plated one run in the bottom of the ninth but it wouldn't be enough as Amarillo fell 9-3 to the visiting Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

The Amarillo Sod Poodles will continue their three-game series tomorrow against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals at HODGETOWN. First pitch in game two tomorrow is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with Lake Bachar getting the nod. Bachar will matchup against J.C. Cloney for Northwest Arkansas.

NOTES:

North Sweep Keeps Things Close: After the North division swept every South division team Tuesday, the Sod Poodles still sit just one game behind the first-place Frisco RoughRiders in the Texas League South with six games remaining in the first half. The entire division is all within one game of each other heading into the last week of the half as Corpus Christi and Midland are both just a half-game behind Frisco for first place.

Scholtens Ninth Bid: In his ninth start of the season, Scholtens was dealt his second loss after he tossed four innings of four-run (3 ER), five-hit ball. He also allowed a season-high four walks (previous high was three). With his four strikeouts on the night, he has totaled 67 strikeouts which is good for a tie for third in the league in the category.

Welcome Back, Pistol Pete: Infielder Peter Van Gansen, who was added back to Amarillo's roster from El Paso, entered into his first game at HODGETOWN since April 14 and went 2-for-5 with a ground-rule double and a run scored. Before Tuesday, Van Gansen went 4-for-15 with a home run, three RBI, and five walks at home in Amarillo.

Triple Digits: Right-handed reliever Dauris Valdez came out of the pen Tuesday night and tossed multiple fastballs between 100-101 MPH. He struck out the side in his one inning of work and allowed a run on two hits.

Miller Still On Top: Infielder Owen Miller remains on top in the hit category in the Texas League. With his solo hit on Tuesday night, he has accrued 71 total hits, just one in front of Arkansas' Jake Fraley.

Game One Woes: The Sod Poodles fall to a 4-15 record in series openers on the season. Oppositely, the squad is 12-6 in the second game of a series.

Baez Doing Work: Reliever Michel Baez is proving his worth in June. Over three games (5.2 IP), the 6'8" pitcher has allowed just six hits and not allowed a run with seven strikeouts.

Fired Up: Amarillo manager Phillip Wellman was ejected for the first time in 2019 after arguing balls/strikes with home plate umpire Luis Hernandez in the top of the third inning.

New Faces: The Sod Poodles will match up against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals for the first time this season on Tuesday night. Amarillo will see Northwest Arkansas 13 more times after Tuesday nights contest.

More Hardware For The Soddies: Amarillo right-handed starter Emmanuel Ramirez was named Texas League Pitcher of the Week on Monday for the week of 6/3 - 6/9. Ramirez was 1-0 with a no-decision in two appearances on the week, while striking out ten opposing batters, surrendered two earned runs, and allowed 13 hits in 13 innings of work. Ramirez is tied for second in the Texas League with five wins on the season after he earned his fifth victory of the season at Corpus Christi on Sunday afternoon. Ramirez is also tied for ninth in strikeouts in the Texas League with 60 strikeouts.

Punch-Out Power: The Sod Poodles staff ranks first in strikeouts in the Texas League with a grand total of 623 through 62 games. They are the first team in the Texas League to reach the 600 mark as a staff. Corpus Christi ranks second behind Amarillo with 590.

Ramirez is Rollin': After delivering a strong seven innings on Tuesday at home against Frisco, righty Emmanuel Ramirez tossed six brilliant innings in relief for a victory on Sunday afternoon at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi. Ramirez allowed just four hits and struck out seven while seeing his ERA dip down to 3.84. Ramirez ranks eighth in the Texas League in ERA and is tied for second in wins (5). He ranks first in the circuit in opponents' batting average (.218) and is third in WHIP (1.10). In his last four outings (25.1 IP), he's allowed only four earned runs.

Consistent Castillo: Sod Poodles infielder Ivan Castillo has collected a hit in 23 of his last 24 games. He holds a current 9-game hit streak, after having a 14-game streak already during this span.

Go Low: Opposing batters are only batting .218 against Emmanuel Ramirez this season which is the lowest AVG in by a pitcher in the Texas League this season.

Run Scorer: Edward Olivares has scored 39 runs this season for the Sod Poodles which is the tied for third in the Texas League this season. Olivares' 39 runs are also tied for fifth best in all of Double-A as the All-Star break fast approaches.

The Big Hit: Amarillo finally broke through with runners in scoring position (RISP) on Saturday, going 6-for-11 with RISP in their 12-3 win. In the two games prior, the Sod Poodles went 2-for-27 with RISP.

Getting the "W": The Sod Poodles snapped a four-game skid on Saturday night. Amarillo has not lost more than four games in a row this season.

Quite the Debut: Right-hander Ronald Bolaños made his regular season Double-A debut on Saturday night and tossed six innings of one-run ball. Bolaños allowed just two hits and struck out eight, while he picked up his first Double-A victory. Lucky

Number 7: Lake Bachar tied his career high in strikeouts in a single game Thursday night against the Hooks when he struck out seven batters over a span of five innings. The last time Bachar struck out seven batters in a game was on April 24, 2018, at Springfield.

This Weeks Preview: The Sod Poodles continue their six-game homestand Wednesday night when they face off against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in game two of the three-game set. On Friday night, Amarillo will welcome the Tulsa Drillers to HODGETOWN for the first time this season for a three-game set.

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Texas League Stories from June 12, 2019


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