Double-A Amarillo had its back against the wall coming into Friday's game against Midland, and it didn't help when the RockHounds went up 1-0 in the first inning. But Taylor Trammell and the Sod Poodles weren't going to go down that easy.
The Padres' No. 2 prospect went 3-for-5 with an RBI to help Amarillo defeat Midland, 6-2, at Security Bank Ballpark and avoid elimination in Game 3 of the best-of-5 Texas League semifinals.
Gameday box score
Midland jumped out to an early lead when Taylor Motter drove in Nate Mondou with a two-out single to left field in the opening frame.
"When they scored that run, I don't think anybody panicked," Trammell said. "Nobody really got down on themselves or anything like that."
That sentiment proved true when the top of the Amarillo lineup came around to bat in the third. No. 25 San Diego prospect Buddy Reed singled to center with one out and advanced to third base on a knock by Trammell. Ivan Castillo bounced a groundout to first base two pitches later, allowing Reed to race home and knot the score.
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Owen Miller led off the next frame with a single and moved to second on a throwing error by shortstop Edwin Diaz. Two batters later, Hudson Potts doubled to left field on the first pitch he saw from No. 22 A's prospect Brian Howard to put Amarillo ahead for good.
The Sod Poodles broke the game open in the seventh. Peter Van Gansen drew a leadoff walk and Brad Zunica followed by socking an RBI double to center. That brought up Reed, who plated Zunica with a single to left and advanced to second on the throw. Cody Stull came on to relieve Howard and face Trammell, but the 21-year-old bested the left-hander by sending a bouncer up the middle to increase the lead to four.
Video: Sod Poodles' Trammell plates one
"I just got a good pitch I could handle," he said. "After that, everybody felt really good at that point. Energy was up in the dugout."
Trammell was at the center of every Sod Poodles rally, but he gave his metaphorical game ball to somebody else.
"Kyle Lloyd today, he pitched an unbelievable game," he said. "He was unbelievable. I was just looking in center field, just looking at the pitches that he was throwing. I called him 'Invisi-balls' because out of the hand, you're like, 'OK, that's right there,' and then it just drops or it cuts or it fades away. It was very fun to watch."
Lloyd allowed two runs over 7 2/3 innings, surrendering seven hits and two walks while striking out four. Righty Elliot Ashbeck followed with 1 1/3 perfect frames to close out the game.
Game 4 is Saturday in Midland.
In other Texas League playoff action:
Tulsa 6, Arkansas 1
After dealing 7 2/3 scoreless innings in his regular-season finale, Markus Solbach posted another gem to help the Drillers to a 2-1 lead in the other semifinal series. The German-born righty went 5 1/3 innings, yielding one run on six hits and two walks while striking out four. Michael Boyle and Shea Spitzbarth combined for 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Cody Thomas was the offensive catalyst, going 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. No. 6 Dodgers prospect Jeter Downs, No. 15 Omar Estevez, No. 23 Cristian Santana and No. 28 Connor Wong logged a hit apiece for Tulsa. Gameday box score