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Sod Poodles Rally Late But Fall 10-8 in Series Finale with Naturals

June 14, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Amarillo Sod Poodles News Release

AMARILLO, Texas - The Sod Poodles fell 10-8 in the series finale Thursday night with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in front of nearly 7,000 fans at HODGETOWN. With the loss, the Sod Poodles fall to a 31-33 record with four games left in the first half but still remain just a half game out of first place in the South division.

Kyle Overstreet highlighted the Sod Poodles bats with his 2-for-5 night with a home run. Ivan Castillo and Owen Miller also collected multi-hit nights.

The Naturals got to work quickly in the top of the first after Nick Heath led off with a single to mark the first hit of the game. With one out and Khalil Lee up, Heath stole second and scored on Lees base hit to right field. After a stolen base by Lee, Emmanuel Rivera singled to put runners on the corners. Anderson Miller made it a 2-0 Naturals lead on his RBI single which kept runners on first and third. Taylor Featherston then topped it off with a three-run home run to left field on a 3-2 pitch to extend to a 5-0 advantage.

In the bottom of the second, the Sod Poodles kicked into offensive gear. After a hard groundout by Luis Torrens for the first out, Overstreet got things going for Amarillo on his solo home run to deep left-center field. Following a walk by Brad Zunica and sacrifice bunt for the second out by Buddy Reed to put another runner in scoring position, Taylor Kohlwey struck a line drive single to left field to cut the deficit to 5-2.

In the top of the third, the Naturals got those runs back plus some. Rivera started the half with a one-out single while Anderson singled behind him. Featherston recorded the second out on his groundout to shift the runners to second and third, and then, on a two-strike pitch, Meibrys Viloria struck a three-run home run to left field to extend Northwest Arkansas back out to an 8-2 lead.

In the bottom of the third, Castillo started things off quickly with a leadoff triple and was brought in to score on Edward Olivares' groundball which resulted in an error. After Miller was hit by a pitch to put two on, Torrens lasered a double to the left-center field gap to plate both runners and make it an 8-5 game.

The game went scoreless until the sixth when the Naturals added two more runs in the top half on Angelo Castellano's home run to give the Naturals the 10-5 lead.

Heading into the Sod Poodles seventh, after Amarillo's last 10 batters were retired, Chris Baker, who entered the game in the fourth inning, broke the trend with a walk. Another walk to Castillo and a single by Miller would load the bases with two outs but the threat ended a batter later on Torrens groundout.

In the ninth, the Sod Poodles made one last push against the Naturals. Castillo and Olivares started the frame with consecutive singles while Miller knocked his 14th double to plate one run. Torrens plated a second run on his sacrifice fly ball to right field while Overstreet hit a hard groundout. With two outs, Zunica lined a base hit to right field to make it a 10-8 game and bring the tying run, Buddy Reed, to the plate. On a 1-2 count, Reed grounded to deep short and Featherston made a strong throw across the diamond to end the threat and the contest.

The Amarillo Sod Poodles head into the first game of a three-game series tomorrow against the Los Angeles Dodgers Double-A affiliate, the Tulsa Drillers, at HODGETOWN. First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

NOTES:

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

Miller Still On Top: Infielder Owen Miller remains on top in the hit category in the Texas League. With his two hits on Thursday night, he has accrued 74 total hits, which is three in front of Frisco's Juremi Profar.

Bolaños' Second Start: In his second start with the Sod Poodles, right-hander Ronald Bolaños spanned just three innings while allowing a season-high and a career second-highest eight runs with two strikeouts. Last Saturday, he made his regular season Double-A debut 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 at Corpus Christi.

Triple Digits Return: Right-handed reliever Dauris Valdez came out of the pen Thursday night and tossed yet again multiple fastballs at the 100 MPH mark. In two appearances this week, he has allowed one run on three hits with five strikeouts.

Sniper: Catcher Luis Torrens recorded his fourth consecutive game with a runner caught stealing from behind the dish with one on Thursday night against Northwest Arkansas. He leads all Texas League catchers in the category with 22 total.

Punch-Out Power: The Sod Poodles staff ranks first in strikeouts in the Texas League with a grand total of 639 through 64 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 619.

Over(the)street: Sod Poodles utility player Kyle Overstreet launched his third home run of the 2019 season Thursday night against the Naturals. In the second inning with one out, the Alabama native crushed a hanging 3-2 pitch beyond the right side of the left-center videoboard to mark the Sod Poodles first run of the contest.

Three Bagger: Infielder Ivan Castillo knocked his team-leading third triple of the season Thursday night at HODGETOWN.

Turn Two: The Sod Poodles turned a season-high four double plays on Thursday against the Naturals. The previous high set was at three in a game which the squad reached three times in 2019.

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.

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.

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.

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 41 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 third best in all of Double-A as the All-Star break fast approaches.

This Weeks Preview: Following the series with the Tulsa Drillers at HODGETOWN, the Sod Poodles will end the first half on the road at Northwest Arkansas before continuing on the Tulsa and head into the All-Star break.

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