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Sod Poodles Prevail over Travelers in Regular-Season Finale

September 2, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Amarillo Sod Poodles News Release

AMARILLO, Texas - The Sod Poodles split their final regular-season series with the Arkansas Travelers with a 6-5 victory in front of 5,875 at HODGETOWN. Tyler Benson led the Sod Poodles offensively batting 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs, and an RBI. Nick Kuzia earned the win for the Sod Poodles as he tossed three innings out of the bullpen. Kuzia allowed one run on two hits and struck out two Arkansas batters over 29 pitches. The Sod Poodles begin their inaugural Texas League Playoff run in the South Division series Wednesday against the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, the Midland RockHounds, at HODGETOWN.

In the first inning, Arkansas jumped out to an early lead when Cal Raleigh hit a home run to right field to take a 1-0 lead. Amarillo responded quickly in the bottom of the inning scoring two runs on three hits. A pair of singles by Owen Miller and Kyle Overstreet started the inning for the Soddies. Brad Zunica followed with a two-RBI single to right field to put the Sod Poodles up 2-1.

Amarillo tacked one run in the second inning to extend their lead to 3-1 over the Travelers. Benson leadoff the inning with a bunt single down the left-field line and stole second base. Benson came around to score on a Taylor Trammell double to center field to straightaway center field.

The Sod Poodles stretched their lead to 4-1 in the third inning. Miller singled up the middle to lead off the inning followed by a walk to Overstreet. Benson then hit an RBI single to right-center field which scored Miller. The inning came to an end when A.J. Kennedy flew out to center field.

Arkansas outfielder Jarred Kelenic hit a solo home run to center field to cut the Sod Poodles lead to 4-2 in the sixth inning.

In the seventh inning, Amarillo plated one run on one hit. Trammell leadoff the inning with a triple to right-center gap and came around to score on a wild pitch by Arkansas reliever Bernie Martinez which pushed the Sod Poodles lead to 5-2.

The Sod Poodles added an insurance run in the eighth inning via a Benson home run to left field to make the score 6-2.

Arkansas looked to mount another ninth-inning rally for the second time in as many days. Nick Zammarelli singled to right field to open the inning for the Travelers. Ahmed then worked a walk to place runners on second and first base. One batter later, Dom Thompson-Williams hit an RBI double to left field. Logan Taylor grounded out to allow Ahmed to score. Following a Nick Thurman strikeout, Jordan Cowan hit an RBI single to center field. Kelenic then stepped to the plate representing the go-ahead run for the Travelers. On the first pitch, Kelenic lasered a line drive to right field that was caught by a diving Buddy Reed to secure the 6-5 win for the Sod Poodles in the regular-season finale.

The Sod Poodles begin the Divisional series of the Texas League playoffs Wednesday at HODGETOWN against the Midland RockHounds. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

NOTES

Playoff Preview: The Sod Poodles head into their first-ever Texas League playoff run as a franchise. They will face the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, the Midland RockHounds, Wednesday and Thursday night in downtown Amarillo. First pitch at HODGETOWN for each game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The third game and fourth and fifth, if needed, will be played at Security Bank Ballpark in Midland.

Soddies to the Show: Ronald Bolaños promotion marks the sixth Sod Poodles player to receive their first-ever Major League call this season and ninth overall in 2019.

72 Wins: The Sod Poodles ended their inaugural regular season with 72 total wins - the fourth-most in the Texas League in 2019.

Second Spot Start: Right-hander Blake Rogers made his second spot start for Amarillo Monday afternoon and first since June 21 at Tulsa. In the regular-season series finale, he tossed four stellar innings of four-hit, one-run ball with four strikeouts, leading the Amarillo squad to their 72nd victory. The start marked the fourth of his career.

Hot Bat: Outfielder Taylor Trammell, who joined the Padres organization in the beginning of August, has collected multi-hit performances in four of his last eight games. Since August 26, he is batting .429 (12-for-28) with eight runs, two doubles, two home runs, five walks, and five RBI. In the regular-season finale, he went 2-for-3 with a double and triple and an RBI.

Benson BOOMin: Over 11 games in Double-A, Tyler Benson batted .417 (10-for-24) with five runs, two home runs, his first two as a professional, four RBI, two walks, and two stolen bases. Monday marked his second three-hit game in the Double-A span.

400K Reached: In the Sod Poodles 64th home game, HODGETOWN welcomed its 400,000th fan. Overall in the regular season, Amarillo's community gathering place saw a total of 427,611 fans. Amarillo ranks 2nd in attendance in all of Double-A and 24th in all of Minor League Baseball.

40th Sellout: HODGETOWN saw 40 sellouts over the course of the 2019 season in 68 home games.

Hitting Stats: The Sod Poodles finish the regular season second in Double-A baseball with a .262 team batting average. Amarillo sits second in all of Double-A with 664 runs scored total.

Deja Vu: The Sod Poodles came into the final day of the second half in the same exact scenario as they were heading into the final day of the first half. On June 17, Amarillo had to win against Northwest Arkansas, which they did by a final score of 8-2, and Midland had to fall to Springfield, which they did by a final of 3-0, to clinch the first half. Despite Amarillo winning Monday, Midland also won their final regular-season game to clinch the second half.

Day Games Are Good: The Sod Poodles improved to a 12-8 record in day games overall in 2019 with Monday's regular-season finale victory.

56 Inaugural Players: In the Sod Poodles inaugural season so far, Amarillo has welcomed 56 different players - 21 position players and 35 pitchers. On Sunday, Jordan Guerrero and Try Wingenter marked the 34th and 35th pitchers to appear and 55th and 56th players overall on the Amarillo all-time list.

PREVIOUS NOTES:

Bednar in The Show: Amarillo Sod Poodles right-handed relief pitcher David Bednar was called up by the San Diego Padres, along with right-handed reliever Javier Guerra Sunday. In San Francisco, Bednar made his debut with a scoreless ninth to close out the Padres 8-4 win over the Giants. As the backbone reliever for Amarillo throughout the 2019 season, Bednar has gone 2-5 with a 2.95 ERA over 44 appearances (2nd in TL) and converted a career-high 14 of his 15 save opportunities with 86 strikeouts, 18 walks, and just four home runs allowed (one since May 31).

Back-to-Back: Luis Torrens and Hudson Potts became the 5th Amarillo duo to collect back-to-back home runs in a game this season. It marked the second time Potts and Torrens have met the feat together in 2019. The last pair to do it was Brad Zunica and Ruddy Giron on August 28 versus Tulsa.

Huddy Power: Infielder Hudson Potts launched his second home in as many nights Sunday. He ranks tied for second on the team in the category with Brad Zunica.

Fall After Leading 8: The Sod Poodles dropped just their second game of the season when leading after eight innings. They fall to 61-2 now when leading after eight frames.

Long-Ball Parade: Amarillo and Tulsa combined to tie for the most home runs by two teams in a game at HODGETOWN with nine total Sunday. On Wednesday, Tulsa and Amarillo set the nine home run mark.

Position Players On the Mound: Brad Zunica made his first professional pitching appearance Saturday night against Arkansas, tossing a scoreless inning. A position player has yet to be charged with a run this season.

Career First: In his first professional start and second appearance at the Double-A level, Sam Williams allowed three runs and three hits early on, but settled in quickly, allowing just one hit after with seven strikeouts over three total innings of work.

Hits For All: Friday night marked the fourth time during the 2019 season where every Sod Poodles player collected a hit. It was the first time since July 4 against Frisco. They have met the feat every month since May.

Five Spot: The five spot for Amarillo Friday night in the third inning marked the 9th time the team met the feat. It was the first time since 7/19 versus Northwest Arkansas.

First Time in Double Digits: Friday night marked the first time Arkansas pitching has allowed double digits by an opposing game during the 2019 season. The highest amount of runs Travelers pitching had allowed previously was 8.

Hit Parade For Amarillo: Amarillo's 18 hits Friday night marked the most hits by the Sod Poodles in one game this season and came just one night after Amarillo set a new high of 17 on Thursday. The previous high before Thursday was 16 which they reached three times this season.

They Were Runnin': The Sod Poodles set a new season-high in runs scored in a game as a team with 15 total of Friday night at HODGETOWN. The previous high was 13 which was recorded on May 26 against Midland.

The Street: Kyle Overstreet collected his second four-RBI game of the season Friday night after his 3-for-5 performance with two doubles. His first four-RBI game was recorded on July 16 against Springfield when he hit an inside-the-park grand slam at HODGETOWN.

Far Out: Amarillo bats combined for four home runs for the second time in a week (Wednesday and Friday) to tie a team season-high in a game (4th time overall in 2019). Last three: 5/5 vs. ARK and 8/3 vs FRI, 8/28 vs. TUL.

Welly Voted Best: The Texas League announced Thursday that Amarillo Sod Poodles manager Phillip Wellman has been named the 2019 Texas League Manager of the Year. It marks the veteran skipper's second Manager of the Year honor in three seasons (2017 - San Antonio). Pete Woodworth, pitching coach of the Arkansas Travelers, was selected as the Mike Coolbaugh Coach of the Year. The awards were voted on by the league's managers, staff and media.

Hundred Mark: Buddy Reed reached the 100 career stolen base mark on Thursday. Against Tulsa, he stole two bases and now has accrued 101 stolen bags as a minor leaguer.

GONE: In the series with Tulsa, both teams set a new HODGETOWN high of 21 total home runs in the four-game series. Tulsa hit 16 of the total with five coming off the bats of the Sod Poodles.

30 Combined: The combined 30 hits between Amarillo and Tulsa on Thursday night marked the most by two teams during their inaugural campaign. The most previously was set on May 13 when the Sod Poodles and RockHounds combined for 28 hits.

Lots of Runs: The combined 23 runs by Amarillo and Tulsa on Thursday at HODGETOWN set a season-high. The previous high was 21 set on May 26 with Midland.

Series #40: In their 40th series of the 2019 season, the Sod Poodles dropped to Tulsa 1-3. It marked their 18th series loss. Overall in 2019, they hold a 19-18-3 series record.

New High: Kyle Lloyd allowed a career-high six home runs in his 115th career minor league start. His previous high in a start was three home runs allowed, which happened three times. Two of the starts he allowed three home runs happened this season on June 3 and June 27, both at HODGETOWN.

Postseason Stars of the Soddies: The Texas League revealed Wednesday its 2019 Postseason All-Star team, featuring a league's second-highest four (4) Amarillo Sod Poodles players. The postseason selections highlight the league's best throughout the 2019 season at each position. Sod Poodles players selected to the Postseason All-Star team are: Catcher Luis Torrens, Infielder Ivan Castillo, Outfielder Edward Olivares, and Right-Handed Pitcher Lake Bachar.

Drillers Recap: The Sod Poodles finished their regular season with the Tulsa Drillers to HODGETOWN. Amarillo finishes with a record of 5-9. At home, the Sod Poodles went 3-4 against Tulsa with two walk-off wins on June 16 and August 28. The Sod Poodles did not fare too well in Tulsa as they went 2-5 at ONEOK Field. Eight of the 13 matchups against the Soddies and Drillers were decided by two or fewer runs this season.

Reed's Big Blast: Outfielder Buddy Reed knocked his 13th home run of the season Wednesday. It was his first since July 25th at Springfield and marked his first walk-off hit of 2019.

WALK-OFF: The Sod Poodles collected their seventh walk-off victory this season and second against Tulsa this season. The team's last came on August 12 against Midland at HODGETOWN in extra innings.

Pitchers Who Rake: Starter Lake Bachar helped his cause with a hit and RBI in game three against Tulsa, marking his second consecutive at-bat where he collected a hit and RBI. On Tuesday, reliever Blake Rogers slugged his second hit this season in big fashion with a two-out, two-RBI double in game two against Tulsa. It marked his first career extra-base hit and the ninth hit overall by a Sod Poodles pitcher this season.

Big 6: Amarillo's big six-run frame in the third inning came one short of tying a season-high for runs scored in an inning. The Sod Poodles plated seven in an inning two times this season. The first time the Sod Poodles accomplished the feat was on April 11 vs. Corpus Christi with the second time coming on August 22 in Tulsa.

Largest Deficit: Monday night's game set the largest deficit the Sod Poodles have faced against Tulsa this season (seven runs). The previous largest was only two runs which came on June 23 at ONEOK Field.

Deep Into Monday: Monday night's contest marked the longest game at HODGETOWN to date. The game one of the series with Tulsa lasted 3:35. The previous longest was 3:30 set on July 22 against Northwest Arkansas.


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