Amarillo, Texas – The Amarillo Sod Poodles climbed out of an early three-run deficit to take the series opener against their fellow Texas League South Division foe, the San Antonio Missions. A trio of home runs and 10 total hits powered the Soddies to victory on Tuesday night in downtown
Amarillo, Texas – The Amarillo Sod Poodles climbed out of an early three-run deficit to take the series opener against their fellow Texas League South Division foe, the San Antonio Missions. A trio of home runs and 10 total hits powered the Soddies to victory on Tuesday night in downtown Amarillo.
The Sod Poodles were chasing runs early with the Missions scoring two in the top of the first and one more in the second as they built a 3-0 lead off the Sod Poodles and starter Bryce Jarvis. The Arizona Diamondbacks' No. 6 rated prospect was making his first start in front of the HODGETOWN faithful since June 9.
Eduardo Diaz doubled to start the home half of the second inning, the first of three Sod Poodles hits in the frame. Tim Tawa notched his first Double-A home run since being transferred from High-A Hillsboro on June 23 to cut the deficit to one run. Juan Centeno went back-to-back with Tawa and tied it with his third home run in his last four games.
Jarvis worked around a one-out single, inducing a double-play to get the Sod Poodles back to the plate where they would take their first lead of the game. Tristin English crushed his third home run in a Sod Poodles uniform, a 464 ft blast to left-center field as the Sod Poodles led by one coming out of the third inning.
The Soddies starter struck out the Missions' leadoff man in the top of the fourth inning before placing a runner aboard with an errant pitch. As he did in the third, an inning-ending double-play helped extend Jarvis' night on the mound. Amarillo provided him with a little breathing room with a run in their third straight inning. Outfielder Roby Enriquez doubled to start the team's at-bats in the 5th. Centeno earned his second RBI of the game with a chopped single over the outstretched arms of the Missions' third baseman as the Soddies built a 2-run advantage.
Jarvis retired the first two batters in the top of the fifth. The third walk of his outing sent Sod Poodles' manager Shawn Roof out to the mound for the first call to the bullpen on Tuesday. The first batter Soddies reliever Kenny Hernandez faced tied the game with a two-run home run.
Amarillo left a pair of runners stranded following singles from Drew Stankiewicz and English. The second-straight inning-ending double-play ended Amarillo's threat to regain the lead in the fifth.
Hernandez remained in the game working around a pair of two-out hits in the sixth and seventh innings to keep the game tied while the Sod Poodles were retired in order during their at-bats.
Fellow left-handed reliever Cam Booser replaced Hernandez in the top of the eighth inning and was promptly greeted with a single hit into right field. Booser struck out the next two batters he faced including a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play to end the Missions' eighth.
Former Sod Poodle Carlos Belen walked English in the eighth inning but managed to strike out the Amarillo side and send the game to the ninth inning knotted at five. Booser stayed on for the top of the ninth and walked the first two batters he faced. He battled back to strike out the next two. With a righty stepping to the plate, Roof opted to play the matchup game, bringing right-hander Jeff Bain into the game. Bain rewarded the decision, getting a lineout to end the threat and send the game to the bottom of the ninth with two Missions left stranded.
Outfielder Roby Enriquez roped a ball over the head of the Missions' right-fielder for a leadoff double. A pop-up into shallow left field followed by a passed ball allowed Enriquez to advance to third with one out and sent Centeno back to the plate. The veteran catcher needed to see just three pitches in his at-bat before playing hero.
A line drive into center field scored Enriquez and provided the Sod Poodles their fourth walk-off win of the season.
The series against the Missions continues on Wednesday as D-backs' top-rated pitching prospect, Blake Walston takes the hill for the Soddies. Walston (2-3, 6.32 ERA) will be making his 11th start for Amarillo and is coming off his last go where he went 4.1 IP with two earned runs allowed on four hits with as many strikeouts against Wichita on July 8. The 21-year-old is the D-backs' No. 3 rated prospect and No. 73 overall by MLB Pipeline.
First pitch between Amarillo and San Antonio is slated for 7:05 PM for another Wiener Wednesday at the ballpark presented by Texas Ford Dealers. Amarillo and San Antonio will don their Copa De La Diversion brands, the Pointy Boots de Amarillo and Flying Chanclas.
*Put The W In Walk-Off: *The Sod Poodles won in walk-off fashion thanks to Juan Centeno's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. It was Amarillo's fourth walk-off win this season and first in July with the last coming on June 30 against Northwest Arkansas. The Sod Poodles are now 5-1 in their last six games. 9-3 in their last 12 and improved to 9-4 in the second half of the Texas League schedule.
*Tawa You Doin: *INF Tim Tawa's 2nd-inning two-run home run was his first in a Sod Poodles jersey and ninth of his 2022 campaign. He hit his first eight in 52 games with High-A Hillsboro. The second-year pro now has 15 home runs in his professional career. The former Stanford Cardinal also notched his first multi-RBI game in a Sod Poodles uniform in his 15th game played since being transferred from Hillsboro on June 23.
*So Nice, They Did It Twice: *Tawa and Centeno combined for the 5th back-to-back homer performance this season for the Soddies. The duo tied the game at 3-3 in the second inning. The two home runs came just five pitches apart and were hit to nearly identical places of the field over the right-field fence. Jorge Barrosa and Tristin English were the last pair of Sod Poodles to go back-to-back on July 3 against Northwest Arkansas.
On A Mission: Centeno continued his tear against the Missions' pitching staff this year, improving his season average to .395 (15-for-38) in 10 games played against San Antonio. He has racked up nine extra-base hits against the Missions including now five home runs and 12 RBI with an OPS of 1.386. Centeno has hit five of his nine total home runs this year in Double-A against the Missions and has gone yard in three straight games here at HODGETOWN versus San Antonio. The veteran catcher has homered 10 total times in 2022, more than double the amount he had in any previous single season of his minor league career spanning back to 2007. With a homer tonight, he has homered in consecutive games for the second time in 2022, the 12th total time it has been done by an Amarillo player in 2022.
*Defenders of the Diamond: *Amarillo tied their season-high turning three double plays on Tuesday night. It was the third time the defense has turned three double plays in a single game this season. On top of that, outfielder Jorge Barrosa made another sliding catch to rob a base hit, one of many highlight catches the outfielder has made this season. Tim Tawa made a back-handed stop behind second base with a hard accurate throw to first, robbing another would-be hit from the Missions in the 7th inning.
Don't Run On Juan: On top of hitting the baseball out of the yard, Juan Centeno also hosed another potential base stealer, his 13th of the year. He leads all Sod Poodles' catchers in the category and ranks third in the Texas League behind San Antonio's Chandler Seagle (22) and Arkansas' Matt Scheffler (15).
Roby Riding High: Outfielder Roby Enriquez pitched in with a 2-for-4 night with two doubles - his 8th and 9th of the year - and scored two runs including the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth. He led off the fourth and ninth innings with doubles. Enriquez is coming off his series against Wichita where he hit .333 (7-for-21) with four RBI. Since being promoted from High-A Hillsboro, Enriquez is hitting .325 with three home runs and 24 RBI in 30 games played for Double-A Amarillo. In the month of July, Enriquez is hitting .432 (16-for-37) with five doubles, a triple, two home runs, and nine RBI. His OPS is 1.247 in nine games played this month.
Muy Bien: Since being transferred from High-A Hillsboro on June 28, Tristin English is hitting .340 (17-for-50) with 10 RBI, three home runs, and two doubles in 13 games. His 464 ft home run in the third inning came off the bat at 106-MPH. His nine-game hitting streak dating back to July 2 is the longest active streak on the team.
Recipe For Success: With the win, Amarillo improved to 30-0 when out-hitting their opponent. When being out-hit or tied for hits, the Soddies are 11-41 this season.
Not Daytona, But Back to .500: The Sod Poodles are back to .500 on the year for the first time since June 14 when the team was 29-29. Amarillo has been at or above .500 for 32 games this year after tonight's win.