Sod Poodles Walk-Off on Drillers to Keep First-Half Clinch Hopes Alive
AMARILLO, Texas - The Sod Poodles were victorious over the Tulsa Drillers in walk-off fashion Sunday night by a final score of 2-1 in front of HODGETOWN's biggest crowd to date, totaling 7,329 fans. With one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Taylor Kohlwey hit a sharp ground ball in between first and second base, forcing a close play at the plate but allowing a sliding Owen Miller to score the winning run for the Soddies.
The victory improves the Sod Poodles record to a 33-34 with just one game left in the first half and moves them within a half-game of first place in the South division. Amarillo will need a victory tomorrow night as well as a Midland loss for the Soddies to claim the Texas League South division in the first half. The first half division winners automatically receive a post-season bid in the 2019 playoffs.
Amarillo starter Jesse Scholtens was brilliant Sunday night as he tossed six innings while allowing just one run on six hits. Scholtens walked three and struck out five Tulsa batters in 102 pitches, getting a no-decision.
Dauris Valdez followed Scholtens and threw a one-hit inning while striking out two Tulsa batters. Michel Baez entered the contest in the eighth and went two innings where he struck out three and only allowed one hit. Baez eventually earned the win marking his second of the season.
Tulsa jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Cody Thomas roped an RBI double to right field which scored Gavin Lux.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Sod Poodles would threaten but left the bases loaded after Ruddy Giron grounded out to shortstop on a full count. Tulsa retained the 1-0 advantage as they entered the fifth inning.
However, in the bottom of the fifth, Edward Olivares came up big and tied the ballgame up at 1-1 on a clutch base hit that scored Ivan Castillo, who sparked the rally on his two-out double.
The pitcher's duel continued, spanning three more innings. Then, in the bottom of the ninth inning, Miller started the half with a leadoff single to right field. Luis Torrens followed and popped out to the catcher in foul territory against the backstop netting which allowed Miller to tag and stretch to second base to get into scoring position. After an intentional walk to Kyle Overstreet to give Amarillo two baserunners with one out in the inning, Kohlwey stepped up and batted a ball to the right side of the infield between first and second which allowed Miller to score on a do-or-die play at the plate to give the Sod Poodles the walk-off 2-1 victory.
The Amarillo Sod Poodles head to Northwest Arkansas Monday as they wrap up the first half of the season. First pitch in game one Monday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. in Springdale, Arkansas.
For All The Marbles: After losses by Midland and Corpus Christi, a canceled game in Frisco and a victory for Amarillo on Sunday, the Sod Poodles sit a half game behind first-place in the Texas League South with one game remaining in the first half. If the Sod Poodles can get a victory over Northwest Arkansas and Midland loses to Springfield Monday, Amarillo will clinch the South first half.
Highest of Them All: HODGETOWN drew a season-high 7,329 fans on Father's Day Sunday. The sold-out crowd was the largest attending since Opening Night's 7,175 on April 8.
WALK-OFF: The Sod Poodles walked off for a third time in the first half on Sunday in the series finale and first since May 24. The team improved to a 3-4 record when tied after eight innings.
Kohlwey Comin' Through: Taylor Kohlwey's finished off strong on an impressive week. The outfielder batted .389 over five games for Amarillo with four runs, a double, four RBI, and two home runs that came in multi-fashion on Saturday night against Tulsa. It marked his first career multi-home run game. His other highlight came on Sunday when he walked-off the 1-1 game in the bottom of the ninth on his one-out single.
What A Performance: Starter Jesse Scholtens was locked in in his 10th start with a first-half clinch on the line. He stranded seven runners over six innings and allowed just one run on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts. It marked his second quality start in three bids.
Red Hot: Owen Miller collected his fourth consecutive multi-hit game Sunday night and has totaled 11 hits in four games. On the season, the Wisconsin native has collected 21 two-hit games, two three-hit and two four-hit bouts.
Miller High Hits: Infielder Owen Miller remains on top in the hit category in the Texas League. With his two hits on Sunday night, he has accrued 83 total hits, which is eight in front of Frisco's Juremi Profar and is second in all of Double-A behind Mississippi's Drew Walters (93).
Consistent Heat: Right-handed reliever Dauris Valdez came out of the pen Sunday evening and tossed yet again multiple fastballs at the 100 MPH mark. In three appearances this week, he has allowed one run on four hits with seven strikeouts.
Sniper: Catcher Luis Torrens recorded his fifth consecutive game with a runner caught stealing from behind the dish with one on Sunday night against Tulsa. He leads all Texas League catchers in the category with 23 total.
Punch-Out Power: The Sod Poodles staff ranks first in strikeouts in the Texas League with a grand total of 671 through 67 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 644 over 68 games. The staff is also one behind Pensacola (672) in all of Double-A.
Baez Earns Second Win: Reliever Michel Baez collected his second win out of the pen Sunday evening after allowing just one hit through two frames with three strikeouts and stranding two runners in the ninth inning. On the week, he collected six strikeouts in four innings of work.
Strong Pitching: Adrian Morejon, Emmanuel Ramirez and J.C. Cosme put together an impressive performance Saturday night combining for a five-hitter against Tulsa. Morejon allowed one hit through two frames while Ramirez collected his team-leading sixth win. Cosme tossed a season-high 2.1 innings with the Sod Poodles.
Round 'Em Early: Edward Olivares slugged his ninth home run of the season in his first at-bat on Friday night. It marked his first round-tripper since his three-home run game on May 5 against Arkansas.
Shutdown Radke: Recently-named All-Star southpaw reliever Travis Radke tossed his second-consecutive scoreless and hitless inning and has combined for four strikeouts in six batters faced. Overall, he is 3-1 on the season with a 2.28 ERA.
Stars of the Soddies: The Texas League revealed its 2019 All-Stars for the 83rd annual Harsco Texas League All-Star Game taking place on Tuesday, June 25 at ONEOK Field, home of the Tulsa Drillers, which will feature a league second-highest seven Amarillo Sod Poodles players. The All-Star Game is the marquee event for the Texas League each season and will bring players and executives to Tulsa from other cities throughout the league. Amarillo Sod Poodles players selected who will represent the South division in the Texas League mid-summer classic are: Luis Torrens (C), Ivan Castillo (2B), Owen Miller (SS), Edward Olivares (RF), Kyle Overstreet (UTIL), RHP Emmanuel Ramirez, and LHP Travis Radke. Additionally, Amarillo's manager Phillip Wellman along with his team staff will be at the helm of the 2019 Texas League South Division All-Star Roster since the Padres Double-A affiliate in San Antonio were South Division Champions in 2018.
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 and fourth triples of the season on consecutive nights - Thursday and Friday at HODGETOWN. On Friday, Castillo tried to stretch an inside-the-park home run but a perfect relay to the plate resulted in a tag-out at the plate.
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.
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.
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.
This Weeks Preview: 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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Texas League Stories from June 16, 2019
- Sod Poodles Walk-Off on Drillers to Keep First-Half Clinch Hopes Alive - Amarillo Sod Poodles
- Tulsa Drops Finale in Amarillo - Tulsa Drillers
- Chinea Drives in 4, Cardinals Sweep Hooks with 8-6 Win - Springfield Cardinals
- McCaughan Sets Tone for Travs Win - Arkansas Travelers
- Cards Complete Sweep - Corpus Christi Hooks
- Rubber-Match Rained out in Frisco - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
- Sunday's Game Cancelled Because of Inclement Weather - Frisco RoughRiders
- Hounds Top Arkansas, One Win Away from Postseason - Midland RockHounds
- Kohlwey, Miller Lead the Way in Sod Poodles 11-6 Victory over Drillers - Amarillo Sod Poodles
- 'Hounds Send Travs to Third Straight Loss - Arkansas Travelers
- Sod Poodles Defeat Drillers in Amarillo - Tulsa Drillers
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