Zunica's Two-Home Run Night Leads Sod Poodles to Second Consecutive Victory over RoughRiders
Frisco, Texas - The Amarillo Sod Poodles were victorious for a second straight night against the Frisco RoughRiders, taking game three at Dr. Pepper Ballpark by a final score of 9-5. First basemen Brad Zunica led the Sod Poodles offensively Saturday night as he hit two, two-run home runs to bring his season total to a team-leading nine. Starting pitcher Emmanuel Ramirez was excellent as he tossed six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out five RoughRider batters to earn his third win of the season. With the victory, the Sod Poodles move within four games behind the RoughRiders in the first-half standings.
Amarillo struck first Saturday night when Brad Zunica hit a two-run home run in the top of the second inning to give the Sod Poodles the early 2-0 advantage over the RoughRiders.
Frisco would pull even in the bottom of the third inning when Juremi Profar hit a two-RBI single up the middle of the diamond to score Alex Kowalczyk and Franklin Rollin and to make the score 2-2.
In the top of the fourth, Brad Zunica hit his second home run and ninth of the season into the lazy river beyond the right-field fence to put the Sod Poodles back on top 4-2. In the bottom of the inning, Andretty Cordero responded with a home run of his own to cut the Amarillo lead to 4-3.
The Sod Poodles offense continued to roll as they plated three runs on two hits in the fifth inning. Hudson Potts got the scoring started with an RBI single to right field which allowed Ivan Castillo to score from third base. The second run of the inning came via an RBI single courtesy of Kyle Overstreet. The final run of the inning then came when centerfielder Buddy Reed was hit by a pitch which allowed Potts to trot on home to give the Sod Poodles the 7-3 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Frisco narrowed the Amarillo lead to 7-5 when Charles Leblanc hit a two-run home run to left field.
Amarillo tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the eighth after Owen Miller singled to left field to plate Taylor Kohlwey and Rodrigo Orozco and extend the Sod Poodles lead to 9-5.
In the ninth inning, reliever Kazuhisa Makita made his 15th appearance of the season and closed it out for the Sod Poodles as they earned their second constative win over the Frisco RoughRiders by a final score of 9-5.
On Sunday afternoon, the Amarillo Sod Poodles and Frisco RoughRiders will wrap up their four-game series at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. First pitch Sunday afternoon is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. as right-handed pitcher Jesse Scholtens will take the mound from the Sod Poodles. Scholtens will face off against fellow right-hander Jonathan Hernandez for the RoughRiders. The Sod Poodles will look to win their fifth series of the season.
Over and Out: Brad Zunica added on his third and fourth two-run home runs and marked his second multi-home run game of the 2019 season Saturday night in Frisco, Texas. In the second inning, Zunica connected with an opposite-field two-run homer to put the Sod Poodles up 2-0. Then, in the fourth, the first baseman splashed a ball into the right-field lazy river to put the Sod Poodles back up 4-2 over the RoughRiders.
Bring 'Em Around: With his four RBI on Saturday night, Brad Zunica marked his second game of 2019 where he collected four or more RBI in a game. On April 9, in the second game ever at HODGETOWN, Zunica slugged two home runs to combine for five RBI.
Hit Attack: Alabama native Kyle Overstreet became the third player in Sod Poodles history to collect a four-hit game. It marked the second time he reached the feat in his career. On Saturday night, going 4-for-5 with two runs and a run batted in. It was also his third consecutive multi-hit game and fourth in his last 10 games.
Ca(STILL)o RAKIN': Infielder Ivan Castillo has been nothing but exceptional since being added to Amarillo's roster in early May. In 11 games, Castillo has not batted below .300, currently holding a .327 average (17-for-53) with six runs, three doubles, one home run, and five RBI. He has gone hitless in only two games.
Strong Arms of the League: The Amarillo Sod Poodles pitching staff leads all of the Texas League with 416 strikeouts. Behind the Sod Poodles is Corpus Christi arms with 396.
Swipers Swipin': The Sod Poodles are 23-for-23 in stolen bases in the month of May. On Saturday, Amarillo stole three more bags, including two by infielder Owen Miller.
Ramirez's Sixth Bid: In his sixth start of 2019, Emmanuel Ramirez tossed six innings of five-run ball on eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk surrendered. Ramirez just missed his third quality start but allowed a one-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to add his fourth and fifth runs surrendered.
Torrens Delivers at (and behind) the Plate: Torrens has thrown out 50% of base stealers (11 caught stealing, 22 attempts) this season.
Win One, Gain One: The Sod Poodles won their second consecutive game in Frisco Saturday night to move within four games of the RoughRiders in the first half.
Munoz Does It Again: Andres Munoz was again masterful on Friday night in Frisco, tossing 1.2 scoreless innings for a save. He faced five batters and retired all of them. Munoz has now put together a streak of ten scoreless appearances out of Amarillo's bullpen. In the stretch: 11.2 innings, two hits, 25 strikeouts, four walks, and three saves.
Diaz Delivers in Rehab: Right-hander Miguel Diaz went five innings and allowed three earned runs in his third rehab appearance with the Sod Poodles on Friday night, picking up the victory in Amarillo's 7-5 win.
Former Redbird Continues to Rake: Owen Miller, who was selected by the Padres in the 3rd round of the 2018 MLB Draft from Illinois State, continues to hit consistently. Miller has collected 45 hits this season, which ranks 2nd in the Texas League. His average is now up to .296 with three home runs and 15 RBI. Miller collected two singles and an RBI in the series opener on Thursday night in Frisco. He had a hit on Friday night, too.
Rivas Round-Up: Catcher Webster Rivas slugged his first home run of the season in big fashion Wednesday night in the final game against Midland. With two strikes, Rivas knocked a go-ahead, three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth.
Series Victory: The Sod Poodles secured their fourth series victory of the season and first over the Midland RockHounds this season on Wednesday night. In 2019, the Sod Poodles hold a 4-5-2 win-loss-split season record.
104 on the gun: Flamethrower Andres Munoz tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning Wednesday night to earn his team-leading third save, before getting his fourth on Friday. His final fastball on the gun was clocked at 104 MPH before he struck out Greg Deichmann with an 85 MPH slider.
New History: Owen Miller and Buddy Reed became the first and second Sod Poodles players respectively in franchise history to record four-hit games. On Monday, Miller knocked three singles and a double while Reed came just a triple shy of the cycle.
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Texas League Stories from May 18, 2019
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