CORPUS CHRISTI - The Hooks were unable to rally out of an early hole dug by the Amarillo Sod Poodles Sunday, falling 4-2 in the four-game finale at Whataburger Field.
A sloppy first frame for the Hooks led two quick Poodles runs. After getting the first two batters of the game, Carson LaRue walked Edward Olivares and Owen Millers. Hudson Potts ripped a single to left, which was bobbled by left fielder Carmen Benedetti, allowing Miller to move to third. LaRue then spiked a pitch that bounded to the backstop, scoring Miller for a 2-0 Amarillo lead.
Osvaldo Duarte led off the bottom of the first with a single and stole second against Amarillo starter Emmanuel Ramirez. After tagging up to move to third, Ramirez was called for a balk that allowed Duarte to score.
In the third, LaRue (L, 0-1) surrendered a leadoff homer to Ivan Castillo (1) which proved to be the decisive run. LaRue went 4.0 innings allowing three runs (2 earned), four hits, two walks with five strikeouts.
Ramirez (W, 2-4) struck out eight over 5.2 innings, allowing just three hits and one run.
The Hooks got their other run on a Duarte sacrifice fly in the seventh but couldn't muster a comeback against the combination of Travis Bednar, Paco Rodriguez and Andres Munoz (S, 2).
Gabriel Valdez was impressive on the hill in relief for Corpus, going 4.2 innings with four hits and an unearned run allowed. He struck out four and didn't walk any.
Anibal Sierra was one of the few bright spots at the plate for the Hooks Sunday, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base. Olivares went 2-for-4 with two runs scored for the Soddies (14-20).
Corpus Christi (17-18) turns around for a three-game series beginning Monday at Whataburger Field against the Frisco RoughRiders. Righty Brandon Bailey (0-1, 4.57) is slated for the Hooks against righty Jonathan Hernandez (2-2, 7.18) for the Riders.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.