Sod Poodles Take Game One 13-6 over Drillers
AMARILLO, Texas - The Sod Poodles defeated the Tulsa Drillers 13-6 in front of 5,159 at HODGETOWN in game one of the Texas League Championship Series. After Tulsa came back late to even the game at 6-6 in the top of the eighth, Amarillo exploded for a seven-run bottom half to propel the Sod Poodles ahead in the series.
Edward Olivares and Brad Zunica led the charge for the Sod Poodles in the eighth inning. Olivares belted a bases-clearing double to score three while Zunica collected a two-RBI double.
The Sod Poodles cruised into an early 3-0 lead over the Drillers in the bottom of the third inning. The inning began with Buddy Reed's solo home run to left-center field to make it a 1-0 contest. Taylor Trammell singled to right field and came around to score on an Ivan Castillo RBI single to center field. Castillo advanced to second on an Olivares ground out. Owen Miller then reached on a fielding error which allowed Castillo to score. The inning came to an end when Luis Torrens doubled to left field, but Miller was thrown out at home.
Tulsa answered back in the top of the fourth inning with a solo home run from Cody Thomas to straightaway center field to cut the Sod Poodles lead to 3-1. Amarillo tacked on two runs to take a 5-1 lead. After Hudson Potts struck out to start the inning Overstreet doubled to left-center field. Reed followed with a walk to place runners on first and second base. Pitcher Lake Bachar advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. Trammell followed with a two-run RBI single through the hole at second base before the inning came to an end.
Bachar exited after a solid four-inning performance where he only allowed one run on two hits. He struck out three batters in the no-decision.
In the fifth inning, the Drillers plated one run courtesy of a solo home run from Omar Estevez to make the score 5-2.
The Drillers narrowed the Amarillo lead to 5-3 in the seventh inning with a Donovan Casey solo home run to right-center field. In the bottom of the inning, Amarillo added a run back sparked by Torrens second double of the night to give the Sod Poodles a 6-3 lead.
Tulsa changed the momentum quickly when they scored three runs on three hits in the eighth inning to knot the ballgame up at 6-6. After a Jeter Downs single and Parmelee walk, Connor Wong hit a three-run home run to left field to tie the game.
But, in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Sod Poodles exploded for seven runs to take a 13-6 advantage. The inning started with a Reed double followed by Taylor Kohlwey reaching on a fielder's choice to place runners on first and second. The runners advanced to second and third on Trammell's sacrifice bunt. After an intentional walk to Castillo to load the bases, Olivares cleared them with a three-run RBI double to right-center field, sending HODGETOWN into a frenzy. Olivares advanced to third on Miller's groundout and eventually came home to score on a ball four wild pitch to Torrens. Following the walk, Potts singled to left field and Zunica delivered a pinch-hit, two-run double to right-center field. Reed capped off the seven-run inning with an RBI single through the hole at shortstop to score Zunica.
Amarillo turned to reliever Evan Miller in the ninth inning to close out the game for the Sod Poodles. Miller retired the side in order starting with a strikeout of pinch hitter Eric Peterson. Drew Avans followed with a fly out to center field. The last out came on a Downs ground out to the pitcher to seal the 13-6 victory for the Sod Poodles in game one of the Texas League Championship Series.
Elliot Ashbeck earned the win for the Soddies out of the bullpen going one inning where he allowed one run on two hits and striking out one Tulsa batter.
The Sod Poodles continue the Texas League Championship Series against the Tulsa Drillers Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Championship Series Game Two Preview: The Amarillo Sod Poodles will play game two of the Texas League Championship Series Wednesday night at HODGETOWN. Amarillo takes on the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Tulsa Drillers. Amarillo defeated the Drillers in game one of the TLCS 13-6 powered behind a seven-run eighth inning. The series will shift to Tulsa at ONEOK Field on Sept. 13 for game three of the series and if necessary Sept. 14, and 15.
Score Early and Often: Throughout the regular season, the Sod Poodles hold a 44-20 record when scoring first in a game. In the division series, Amarillo scored first and won their final two games. Amarillo has now won three consecutive when scoring first in a game.
Game One Turnaround: Heading into game ones (regular and postseason combined), the Sod Poodles now improve to a 15-27.
First Postseason Homer: Outfielder Buddy Reed collected his first postseason home run of his career in game one of the Texas League Championship Series. Reed has appeared in 19 postseason games in his career between Low-A Fort Wayne and Double-A San Antonio and Amarillo.
Bachar Strong: Right-handed pitcher Lake Bachar tossed four innings in game one of the Texas League Championship Series against the Tulsa Drillers. Bachar allowed one run on two hits and struck out three Tulsa batters. Bachar picked up the no-decision in the outing.
Tomorrow's Starters: Right-hander and Major League rehabber Jacob Nix will make the start for Amarillo in game two against Tulsa. For Tulsa, it will be southpaw Leo Crawford.
Staying Hot: Outfielder Taylor Trammell went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI in game one of the Texas League Championship Series. Trammell is batting .375 (9-for-24) with three runs, a double, triple, home run, and four RBI in six postseason games.
Long Ball Issues: Tulsa bats totaled six runs on Tuesday night in game one of the series on four home runs - three solo home runs and a three-run.
Unfinished Business: For the second straight season, the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers Double-A affiliates will face off in the Texas League Championship. The Drillers defeated the San Antonio Missions last season in a series that lasted five games. In game five, the Missions fell to the Drillers 5-2.
Amarillo Championship History: Amarillo has claimed three league titles in its long history of professional baseball (1948 Gold Sox (Class C Team) - 84-56 finish, Manager Buck "Leakey" Fausett; 1952 Gold Sox (Class C Team) - 70-70 finish, Managers Pat McLaughlin, John "Monk" Webb, Ted Clawitter; 1976 Gold Sox (AA - Padres) - 81-54 finish, Manager Bob Miller.
Can History Repeat Itself?: The Gold Sox won their last Texas League title in their first season as the Double-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres in 1976 after finishing with an 81-54 record. In the title series, the Gold Sox defeated the Shreveport Captains (PIT) three games to two.
In The North: The Tulsa Drillers captured their third straight North Division crown by edging the Arkansas Travelers in the fully-spanned five-game series. Both division series went to five games.
Facing Tulsa: The Sod Poodles finished the 2019 regular season against the Tulsa Drillers with a record of 5-9. The Soddies held a record of 3-4 at HODGETOWN and at ONEOK a record of 2-5. In the regular season, Amarillo batters hit .275 against Tulsa while Drillers held a .269 average against Sod Poodles arms. Amarillo pitching finished with a 4.72 ERA against Tulsa's 3.62 ERA.
South Division Series Recap: After falling in the first two games to Midland at HODGETOWN, Amarillo battled back, earning three straight victories on the road at Security Bank Ballpark in Midland. In the final matchup, the Sod Poodles plated seven runs in the second frame to take a commanding lead. The RockHounds fought through the mid-innings with five runs but Amarillo arms held the two-run lead to secure the South Division Series win.
We've Been There: Amarillo has eight players who played with San Antonio during the 2018 TLCS - Pitchers Lake Bachar, Travis Radke, Emmanuel Ramirez; infielders Owen Miller, Kyle Overstreet, Hudson Potts, Peter Van Gansen; outfielder Buddy Reed).
Amarillo Playoff Franchise Firsts: Hudson Potts collected the Sod Poodles' first franchise home run in the postseason Wednesday night in game one at HODGETOWN. In the bottom of the first, Edward Olivares collected the first franchise playoff hit.
Gore Named MLB Pipeline's Pitcher of the Year: Padres 2017 No. 3 overall draft pick MacKenzie Gore was named by MLB Pipeline as their 2019 Pitcher of the Year after leading all Minor League pitchers who threw 100+ innings in ERA (1.69) & WHIP (0.83) and striking out 135 (vs. 28 BB) in 101 innings.
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 ranked 2nd in attendance in all of Double-A and 24th in all of Minor League Baseball. Mixed with the three playoff games, HODGETOWN has now seen 443,428 fans.
A Man of Success: Sod Poodles manager Phillip Wellman has made the Texas League playoffs in 2017 and 2018 with the San Antonio Missions. In those two postseasons, Wellman holds a record of 5-8. In 2017 the Missions fell to the Midland RockHounds in five games. Midland eventually went on to be Texas League Champions when they defeated the Tulsa Drillers in five games. Last season Wellman led the Missions to the Texas League championship. Wellman defeated the Corpus Christi Hooks in five games but fell to the Tulsa Drillers in three straight games.
57 Inaugural Players: In the Sod Poodles inaugural season so far, Amarillo has welcomed 57 different players - 21 position players and 36 pitchers. On Thursday, rehabber Jacob Nix marked the 36th pitcher to appear and 57th overall on the Amarillo all-time list.
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Texas League Stories from September 11, 2019
- Time Running out to See Ozzie Smith at Dinner on the Diamond - Springfield Cardinals
- Sod Poodles Take Game One 13-6 over Drillers - Amarillo Sod Poodles
- Drillers Drop TLCS Opener - Tulsa Drillers
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