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 Amarillo Sod Poodles

Sod Poodles Win Three in a Row

May 26, 2024 - Texas League (TL)
Amarillo Sod Poodles News Release

SPRINGDALE, Arkansas - Amarillo won a close game, 7-6, to conclude a fantastic series against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Nine hits, including four going for extra bases, propelled the Sod Poodles to their first three game winning streak of the season.

The Sod Poodles scored in bunches, striking for three in the first and two in the fourth and seventh respectively. Ivan Melendez and Wilderd Patiño led the way. Melendez homered as part of his three hit day in which he scored two runs and drove in a couple more. Just two batters after the Melendez blast, Patiño had a long ball of his own. He went 1-2 with two walks and two stolen bases.

Tyson Guerrero took the mound against Amarillo on Sunday evening. The Soddies put up five runs in the second inning off of him on Tuesday, but they didn't wait for the second frame this time, putting up three runs before the Naturals got to hit. The first four batters reached. Jancarlos Cintron started things with a single and would score a batter later on a Matt Beaty double, his first hit in an Amarillo uniform. After Ivan Melendez was hit by a pitch, Caleb Roberts smacked a double of his own, driving in both baserunners. A sacrifice bunt followed by a couple strikeouts the quick start for Amarillo came to it's end. Jamison Hill took the ball for the Soddies and had early success, putting down the side in order while striking out one.

The Soddies threatened again in the next frame, with two runners reaching on a walk and another hit by pitch. Melendez lined out to the shortstop to vanquish the threat. Hill needed just 21 pitches to get through the first six outs, retiring each batter he faced.

Another runner reached scoring position for the Soddies in the third on a Wilderd Patiño walk and stolen base, but no runs came of it. A leadoff walk issued to Dillan Shrum marked the first baserunner of the night for Hill. A single and another walk loaded the bases with two outs. Hill was one strike away from escaping, but Gavin Cross hit a softly hit groundball that snuck its way up the middle, driving in the first two Naturals runs. A sharp lineout snagged by Melendez ended the first third of the game.

The offense got back to work in the fourth inning, jumpstarted with a Logan Warmoth walk and an S.P. Chen single. With runners on the corners, Cintron flew out to the warning track in the right-field corner. This scored Warmoth and S.P. Chen read it well, moving up to second. The smart baserunning would come in handy as a two-out Melendez single scored Chen to make it 5-2. After a tough third inning, Hill proved that it was just a blip on the radar. Allowing a leadoff single but then setting down the next three batters, one of them on strikes.

The Soddies were greeted by a new arm in the fifth as Cruz Noriega relieved Guerrero. Noriega struggled to find the zone early, walking the leadoff man, Patiño. The Soddies have been patient as thhis was the fourth walk drawn by Amarillo in the game and the 33rd in the series. Patiño would swipe his second bag of the game but the next three batters couldn't get the job done. Hill's day was done after a solid four innings and the first member of the bullpen to come in was Jake Rice. A double and a passed ball put a runner at third base but it didn't prove to be an issue for Rice, as he struck out the side.

The sixth inning wasn't kind to Amarillo as for the first time in the ballgame, they didn't have a runner reach scoring position. This inning they couldn't manage a baserunner. In Northwest Arkansas' half of the inning, they saw a new arm in Gerardo Gutierrez. A single and a walk put two runners on. A wild pitch put both runners in scoring position. This proved costly as they both came in to score on ground balls. After six frames, Amarillo led 5-4.

The Soddies answered right back, making up the two lost runs by smashing two solo shots. A 398 foot blast from Melendez one upped by a 400 foot shot from Patiño. Emailin Montilla was tasked with the bottom of the seventh and faced some adversity. A single and a walk had the first two runners aboard. He was able to get Cross to fly out before Taylor Rashi got called in the pen. Rashi struck out two batters but a single was sandwiched between the two and drove in a run to cut the lead down to two.

Beck Way handled the eighth for the Naturals and the Soddies continued to struggle against him. He put down two batters on strikes which was part of a 1-2-3 inning. Rashi was asked to get three more outs and he would do so with a different looking defense on the corners. Jesus Valdez came in for Matt Beaty and handled the hot corner, sending Melendez over to first base. Rashi didn't need his infielders as he got a flyout and two punchouts in a perfect inning.

The Soddies led 7-5 heading into the final inning as the hard throwing right hander Anderson Paulino took the mound. In his first at-bat, Valdez smoked a single through the right side. Melendez did the same, but instead through the left side. Roberts struck out before a double steal put two runners in position to score. Unfortunatly, Patiño went down looking and Graham chopped one to second base, stranding the runners. Mitchell Stumpo had his number called to get the save. He hadn't allowed a run in an Amarillo jersey this season and started off well, getting a flyout on the first pitch. Stumpo couldn't find the zone and walked Peyton Wilson on four pitches. Tension rose as Cross lined a single to right field, bringing up the go-ahead run. Cross stole second putting the tying run at second base. Stumpo induced a groundball to Cintron at short who fired to first for the second out as the run from third scampered home. The stage was set with Josh Lester standing between the Soddies and a win. Cross sneakily got to third base, dashing to the bag with no one covering before a pitch was even thrown. Stumpo had nerves of steel, striking out Lester to secure his save and an Amarillo victory.

The first half of the Sod Poodles two week long road trip went swimmingly, taking 5/6 from the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. They look to build off an excellent series while staying in the Natural state, as they head to Little Rock to take on the Travelers. The first game is scheduled for Tuesday at 6:35 P.M.


MORE MELENDEZ: Ivan Melendez capped his week against the Naturals with a three-hit performance on Sunday night. The D-backs' no. 8-rated prospect finished 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored. His home run gives him nine on the year, tied for the most on Amarillo's active roster. After having Saturday's game off, his seventh-inning home run gave him a trot around the bases in back-to-back games for the second time this season and the sixth overall by an Amarillo player. In five games to start the road trip, Melendez went 6-for-18 (.333) with a couple of home runs, three RBI, and five runs scored.

PATIÑ-OH MY: Wilderd Patiño followed Melendez two batters later in the seventh inning with his third home run of the year and first since May 9th on the road in Corpus Christi. Patiño and Melendez made it an even 50 total home runs for Amarillo in 45 games played this year, but it was just the first time the Sod Poodles had multiple home runs in the same inning of any game. All three of Patiño's homers this year have come on the road. The speedy outfielder also swiped two more bases in the series finale to give him 12 on the season and six came in his five games played against the Naturals.

ARMS RACE: The Sod Poodles used six total pitchers to get the win on Sunday. LHP Jake Rice earned the win after working just one inning where he allowed a hit but struck out the side in the fifth inning. RHP Gerardo Gutierrez, LHP Emailin Montilla, and RHP Taylor Rashi all earned holds. RHP Mitchell Stumpo went 2-for-2 in save opportunities this week against the Naturals. The right-hander did allow the first run of the year to be charged to his name with a one-out walk coming around to score in the bottom of the ninth inning. It ended his streak of 11 straight games without an earned run allowed.

THROUGH THE QUAD: The Sod Poodles will continue the trip across the start of Arkansas winners of three straight games, their longest winning streak of the season so far.


Sunday, May 26, 2024, at NW Arkansas [KC]

Amarillo Sod Poodles (21-24) | NW Arkansas Naturals (20-23)

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