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Sod Poodles Move Within a Half Game of First Place with 4-1 Victory over Naturals

June 13, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Amarillo Sod Poodles News Release

AMARILLO, Texas - The Sod Poodles bounced back with a 4-1 victory on Wednesday night in game two against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in front of over 6,000 fans at HODGETOWN. Amarillo starter Lake Bachar (2-2) led the charge with his masterful seven-inning shutout performance with four strikeouts to pick up his second win. The series-evening victory improves the Sod Poodles record to 31-32 and moves the team within just half a game behind first-place Midland with five games to go in the first half.

After getting out of an early jam with runners on first and second in the first inning on a hit and a walk, Bachar settled in nicely, allowing just three singles spanned over the next four frames while striking out four in the process.

Meanwhile, Naturals' starter J.C. Cloney made it a pitching duel through his first four frames as he allowed just two hits and struck out three.

However, in the Sod Poodles fifth, the home squad found a rhythm on Cloney beginning with Kyle Overstreet's leadoff double to the right-field corner. After Brad Zunica grounded out to move Overstreet to third, Buddy Reed drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Taylor Kohlwey then dropped a perfectly placed drag bunt in between all fielders on the right side of the infield for an RBI base hit and make it a 1-0 ballgame.

Peter Van Gansen followed with a soft groundball to the first base side and he reached safely after a missed catch at first base by Cloney which also plated Reed. Ivan Castillo brought in a third run on his sacrifice fly ball to right field. After a pitching change, Grant Gavin for Cloney, Edward Olivares sent a two-out RBI double down the left-field line to make it a 4-0 Sod Poodles advantage.

Bachar continued to keep the shutout intact through his final two frames of work in the sixth and seventh innings after getting out of two jams with runners on.

In the top of the eighth, Naturals Angelo Castellano knocked a one-out double off of Amarillo reliever J.C. Cosme. After a strikeout to Nick Heath for the second out, Travis Jones walked. Khalil Lee stepped up with an RBI base hit to left field to break the shutout and make it a 4-1 score before Jones was caught stealing to end the frame.

In the ninth, side-arm righty reliever Kazuhisa Makita closed things out with a quick, three-batter frame to end the Wednesday night contest.

The Amarillo Sod Poodles will continue into the final game of the three-game series tomorrow against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals at HODGETOWN. First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with Ronald Bolaños getting the nod. He will matchup against righty Brady Singer for Northwest Arkansas.


Down To The Wire: After losses by Frisco and Corpus Christi and a victory for Midland on Wednesday, the Sod Poodles now sit in second place, just a half game behind the first-place Midland RockHounds in the Texas League South with five games remaining in the first half.

Bachar's Brilliance: Lake Bachar was brilliant in his 10th start of 2019. After tying a career-high in strikeouts in a single game in his last outing with seven against the Hooks in five innings of work, the Wisconsin native tied for another career-high with seven innings of work while allowing no runs in a start for the seventh time in his career. Bachar tossed seven innings in a start two other times in his career with his last on 8/25/18 at Corpus Christi. The last time he didn't allow a run in a start was on 8/14/18 at Springfield.

Double Trouble: With his 15th double of the season, a two-out RBI double to bring around Amarillo's fourth run, Edward Olivares is now tied for fourth in the category with Midland's Edwin Diaz and is in a four-way tie for extra-base hits with 23 total.

First Save: In his 23rd game with Amarillo and fourth save opportunity, Kazuhisa Makita recorded his first save of 2019 with his three up, three down ninth inning.

Miller Still On Top: Infielder Owen Miller remains on top in the hit category in the Texas League. With his solo hit on Wednesday night, he has accrued 72 total hits, which is two in front of Arkansas' Jake Fraley.

Game Two Bouncebacks: After the Sod Poodles fell to a 4-15 record in series openers on the season, the squad improved to 13-6 in the second game of a series with a victory Wednesday night.

Punch-Out Power: The Sod Poodles staff ranks first in strikeouts in the Texas League with a grand total of 630 through 63 games. They were the first team in the Texas League to reach the 600 mark as a staff. Corpus Christi ranks second behind Amarillo with 607.

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.

Castillo's Streak Ended: Ivan Castillo's hit streak ended at nine games after last night's hitless game for the infielder. Over the last nine games, he went 16-for-41 with seven runs, four RBI, four doubles, and one triple. It was just the fourth time in 34 games with Amarillo where he went hitless.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 fourth in the Texas League this season. Olivares' 39 runs are also tied for sixth best in all of Double-A as the All-Star break fast approaches.

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

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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