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 Amarillo Sod Poodles

Sod Poodles Open Series with Fourth Straight Win

May 28, 2024 - Texas League (TL)
Amarillo Sod Poodles News Release

Little Rock, Arkansas - Amarillo won a nail biter, 2-1, to kickstart their series in Little Rock against the Arkansas Travelers. Sod Poodles pitching allowed just three hits and one walk in a dominant performance.

The Sod Poodles extended their season long win streak to four games, riding the pitching of Billy Corcoran to their second straight one-run victory. The bullpen put together three innings of excellent work, allowing just two batters to reach base. Caleb Roberts led the way on the offensive side of the ball, reaching base three times. Tim Tawa also threw out a couple hits of his own.

Amarillo struck first in this one, plating two runs in the second. Ivan Melendez and Caleb Roberts both smoked singles to start the inning. A.J. Vukovich grounded a ball at the third baseman, Jared Oliva, who had the ball clip off his glove. Melendez didn't slow down, scoring on the error. The Travelers looked as if they would limit the damage to one, recording two outs that kept the runners at their previous bags, but a double steal from Vukovich and Roberts resulted in a throw going into centerfield and another unearned run for the Soddies. Corcoran picked up a couple more strikeouts and had set down every batter he had faced through two innings.

This is where Castano really started to settle in, as he retired Amarillo's top-of-the-lineup in order. Corcoran cruised through the third inning, striking out each batter in the inning. The first time through the Arkansas lineup, Corcoran had faced the minimum and struck out five.

Roberts lined a ball at 100 MPH but right at the centerfielder for an out. The other two Amarillo hitters went down on strikes in the inning. Corcoran retired his tenth batter in a row, catching him looking on a fastball at the knees. His excellent streak ended there as the first Arkansas baserunner of the night, Cole Young, never had to stop jogging on a solo shot to right-center field. The next batter walked but J.J. Dorazio didn't let him occupy the bases for long, unleashing a perfect throw to nab the runner trying to steal second.

Castano continued his dominance in his last inning of work, getting all three Soddies out to make it 12 in a row retired. Corcoran reverted back to putting up a zero on the scoreboard as he got a couple of groundouts and a pop-up to retire the side. Through five innings, Corcoran had only allowed one hit and a walk.

Luis Curvelo was a friendly sight for Amarillo hitters after the recent struggles against Castano. Matt Beaty worked a one-out walk and was followed up by a line drive single from Tim Tawa. A balk put both runners into scoring position. A Melendez pop-out and a Roberts walk loaded the bases with two outs. Vukovich just missed hitting a grand slam as the ball just curved in front of the foul pole. Instead, Vukovich swung through the next pitch, keeping the score at 2-1. Corcoran finished his incredible outing with another 1-2-3 inning. He retired all but two of the batters he faced in the game.

Garrett Davila took over for the Travelers and set the Soddies down in order. After the seventh inning stretch, Conor Grammes came in to pitch and emulated his predecessor, Corcoran, and set Arkansas down in order.

Tawa smacked a hard hit one-hopper off the glove of Ben Williamson at third base. He was awarded a hit in what was an otherwise an uneventful inning for Amarillo. Will Mabrey took over on the mound for the Sod Poodles in the eighth, surrendering a hit and a stolen base but nothing else. Another zero had the Soddies leading 2-1 heading into the final frame.

Reid Morgan would pitch the ninth as the Sod Poodles attempted to get some insurance. Roberts led off with a single and stole second base. Vukovich was patient and worked a walk. D'Orazio laid down a sacrifice bunt to put two runners in scoring position with just one out. Morgan was able to get Patiño swinging and then induced a groundball by Kristian Robinson to extinguish the threat. For the second game in a row, Mitchell Stumpo's name was called to get the save for Amarillo and he did just that. He started the inning with a strikeout and got the next batter to hit a line drive to Vukovich. With the Travelers down to their final out, Cole Young ripped a single off the diving glove of Tawa. He swiped second base without a throw to put the tying run in scoring position. Ben Williamson gave the ball a ride deep into the left-center field gap but Vukovich made an excellent running catch a step in front of the wall to secure another Soddies victory.

Amarillo will look to continue their hot play in game two of their series against the Arkansas Travelers on Wednesday night with a start time of 6:35 P.M.


BILLY THE KID: Billy Corcoran led the way for Amarillo, hurling a dazzling six innings. He didn't have to worry about baserunners much in this one as he only allowed two, a solo shot and a walk. After the walk, the runner was cut down a couple pitches later stealing second, minimizing his pitches with runners on. He struck out six batters while earning his second win in as many starts. After a tough initial outing in a Sod Poodles uniform, his last two starts have been nothing short of magnificent. Between the two starts, he has combined for 13.0 innings pitched, 11 strikeouts, one run, four hits, and a single walk. In result, his ERA has plummeted to 4.11.

THE ARM BARN: The Sod Poodles bullpen shined in the series opener, allowing no runs and just two baserunners. Conor Grammes was the first reliever of the game and cruised through a 1-2-3 seventh inning. He got credit for a hold, his first of the season. Will Mabrey collected his fifth hold of the year, working around a base hit to keep the Soddies one run lead intact. He struck out one in his scoreless inning that brought his ERA on the year down to 2.12. Mitchell Stumpo is getting used to the pressure of the ninth inning, as he locked down his second consecutive save. He struck one batter out and stranded a runner after allowing a two out hit. His scoreless inning streak ended in his save on Sunday, but he started a new one tonight on his way to earning his third save of the season. His ERA is down to a dominant 0.64.

TAKE 'EM HOW YOU GET 'EM: After an offensive explosion this past weekend, the Soddies racked up six hits and only two runs, both coming of the unearned variety. They had their opportunities on offense but couldn't cash in most of the night, going 0-8 with runners in scoring position. Their aggressive baserunning put pressure on Arkansas leading to their scoring chances.

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