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Homers Sink Soddies In Game One

(John Moore)
September 6, 2022

Amarillo, Texas - The Sod Poodles fell 14-3 to the Arkansas Travelers on Tuesday night in game one of their six-game series. The Travelers racked up 12 runs across the first three innings to hand Amarillo their fourth loss in a row. Arkansas batted around in the 1st inning to

Amarillo, Texas - The Sod Poodles fell 14-3 to the Arkansas Travelers on Tuesday night in game one of their six-game series. The Travelers racked up 12 runs across the first three innings to hand Amarillo their fourth loss in a row.

Arkansas batted around in the 1st inning to take a 5-0 lead. The scoring started on the very first pitch of the game, where Riley Unroe smacked a solo home run off of Sod Poodles’ starter Ross Carver. Carver retired the next two batters with a pop out and a strikeout, but four more runs scored on two walks and three hits, including a two-run homer. Carver ended the inning on a strikeout with a runner on 3rd.

The Sod Poodles scored one in the bottom of the inning with some quality at-bats. Nick Dalesandro led off the inning with a single and stole 2nd, and Jordan Lawlar put runners on the corners with a walk and a wild pitch. Roby Enriquez plated their first run on an RBI groundout after a nine-pitch at-bat. Amarillo left two runners stranded to end the frame after forcing Travelers’ starter Bryce Miller to throw 40 pitches.

Arkansas extended their lead to 9-1 with two more home runs in the 2nd. Jack Larsen hit his second homer in as many innings with a two-out, three-run shot, and the next batter launched a solo home run. Carver hit the following batter, which ended his evening with two strikeouts and nine earned runs in 1.2 IP.

Garrett Leonard escaped the 2nd with a pop out but allowed three runs in the 3rd. A leadoff walk scored on an RBI double, and Arkansas made it 12-1 with a three-run homer - their fifth of the game.

Josh Green took the mound in the 4th and allowed the 13th run of the game. The first three batters reached on a walk and back-to-back singles. Green retired the next three, but a run scored on an RBI groundout. In the 5th, Green loaded the bases after back-to-back strikeouts but escaped the jam with his fourth K of the game.

Amarillo mustered just one baserunner from the 2nd to the 5th. Enriquez reached on a single in the 3rd, but Travelers’ starter Bryce Miller set down 14 of 15 after the 1st-inning run. He finished with an excellent line of 5.0 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, and 6 K, and earned the win.

Andrew Saalfrank allowed a run in the top of the 6th to make it 14-1. The first two batters reached and one scored on back-to-back fielding errors. Saalfrank struck out two before loading the bases, but Arkansas left the bases loaded for the second inning in a row with an inning-ending groundout.

Jordan Lawlar broke Amarillo’s drought with a solo home run in the bottom of the 6th. He launched it 401 feet to right field - it was his second game in a row with a home run and three of his first four hits at HODGETOWN have been homers.

Austin Pope issued two walks in a scoreless 7th and walked a third batter in a scoreless 8th. He was responsible for two of Arkansas’ three scoreless innings in the game. Jake Rice followed him with a 1-2-3 9th.

Amarillo collected four more singles after Lawlar’s home run and scored one final run in the 9th. Tristin English led off the final frame with a base hit and came in to score on back-to-back groundouts.

The Sod Poodles were out-hit 14-6 in tonight's loss and committed three errors. The pitching staff racked up 11 strikeouts but walked 10 and stranded 13 Travelers on base.

Amarillo will turn to RHP Jamison Hill (0-0, 9.00 ERA) in game two tomorrow, Wednesday, September 7, to face RHP Emerson Hancock (7-4, 3.52 ERA) for the Travelers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.


Double-A Debuts: Amarillo added three players to their roster ahead of today’s game, and all three made their Double-A debut. 3B AJ Vukovich (Arizona’s No. 12 prospect), INF Deyvison De Los Santos (No. 6) and C/OF Caleb Roberts were all promoted from High-A Hillsboro following the promotions of Leandro Cedeno and Blake Rogers. The trio combined to go hitless with five strikeouts in their debut, but De Los Santos walked in his first at-bat.

New Sheriff In Town: SS Jordan Lawlar launched a solo home run in the 6th inning tonight, his second game in a row with a homer. Arizona’s No. 3 prospect now has four hits in his HODGETOWN career (six games), and three of them have been home runs. Lawlar went 1-for-3 tonight with a walk in the first inning, and he is the 10th Sod Poodle to hit a home run in back-to-back games this year after his solo shot in Sunday’s finale against Midland. Through 11 Double-A games, the former first-round pick is batting .200 with three home runs and five RBI.

Professional Thief: C/OF Nick Dalesandro singled in the 1st inning and stole 2nd base before coming in to score. It was his 33rd steal of the year, which leads the team and ranks fourth in the Texas League. He has now tied his career-high of 33 that led the Arizona farm system in 2021. The utility man also made his first career start in center field tonight and has made 31 starts behind the plate and 28 in the outfield this season.

Go To Church: RHP Austin Pope tossed two scoreless innings in late relief tonight. He finished with 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, and 2 K, his third consecutive outing with multiple strikeouts. Two of his last three outings have been scoreless after seven consecutive outings with multiple earned runs, and he has gone 1.0+ IP in each of his last five appearances.