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Sod Poodles Blank RockHounds

Amarillo Holds Midland to Three Hits
June 7, 2023

Midland, Texas (June 7, 2023) – Behind stellar pitching and defense, the Amarillo Sod Poodles blanked the Midland RockHounds 4-0 on Wednesday night at Momentum Bank Ballpark. Jordan Lawlar, Adrian Del Castillo, and Seth Beer provided the run support as Amarillo picked up their fourth shutout win of the season.

Midland, Texas (June 7, 2023) – Behind stellar pitching and defense, the Amarillo Sod Poodles blanked the Midland RockHounds 4-0 on Wednesday night at Momentum Bank Ballpark. Jordan Lawlar, Adrian Del Castillo, and Seth Beer provided the run support as Amarillo picked up their fourth shutout win of the season.

Following a leadoff single, Jamison Hill would retire six of the next seven batters he faced, tantalizing the Midland hitters up and down the strike zone in tune to four strikeouts through the first two innings.

A Ryan Bliss leadoff single would be the only baserunner Amarillo would get through the first three trips to the plate.

The string of five straight batters retired by Hill would fail to get to six due to the same man who started the game with the single. Chase Calabuig's second hit of the night would quickly be erased by an Amarillo double play to send the game to the top of the fourth.

Lawlar broke the seal, launching a solo home run to straight-away left field for the game's first run with one out in the top of the fourth. The D-backs' no.1 rated prospect also put himself into a three-way tie for the team lead with the blast.

Now working with a lead, it was a quick bottom of the fourth for Hill. The right-hander once again retired the side in order to send Amarillo's bats back to the plate. His fifth strikeout of the night was followed by a pair of flyouts as he only allowed the two hits to Calabuig through four frames.

Deyvison De Los Santos and Caleb Roberts collected a pair of one-out hits in the fifth. As Roberts chugged towards second for a double, De Los Santos was cut down at the plate trying to score from first base as the Sod Poodles failed to add a run.

The first RockHound not named Calabuig to record a hit off Hil was Midland's sixth-hole hitter, JJ Schwarz, who singled to start the bottom of the fifth. A fielder's choice got Schwarz out at second as the double play attempt was a step too late to first base. A walk pushed two aboard before Hill induced a pop-up to shallow right field for the second out of the inning. After fouling off four pitches with the count full, Calabuig reached for the third time, drawing a walk to load the bases and bring an end to Hill's night after 88 pitches. Blake Workman was brought on and left all three RockHounds stranded with a line drive to center field.

Lawlar continued to swing a hot bat, tallying his second hit of the night and second consecutive extra-base hit as he roped a two-out double down the left-field corner. He was, however, left stranded in scoring position with A.J. Vukovich flying out to his counterpart in center field.

Workman worked another scoreless inning, pitching around a two-out walk to keep the game 1-0 in favor of the Sod Poodles. Back-to-back singles in the top of the seventh had Amarillo threatening to score with nobody out. Three straight outs would keep it at a one-run game as Josh Green took over on the mound for Amarillo.

The righty worked around a walk to exit the bottom of the seventh with the 1-0 Amarillo advantage still in hand. Neyfy Castillo began the top of the eighth with a single and then swiped second ahead of advancing to third on a wild pitch. Bliss drew his second walk of the game and also stole second. The second-straight walk of the inning loaded the bases with nobody out. The third walk of the inning scored the second run of the game for Amarillo as Beer drew the one-out walk. Del Castillo then doubled the lead, lacing a ball off the second baseman's glove for a two-RBI single to make it 4-0.

Green then fired a clean frame, picking up the lone strikeout in his 2.0 IP to send the game to the ninth and final inning. The first left-hander out of the bullpen for Amarillo was Andrew Saalfrank. The southpaw held the RockHounds scoreless after issuing a couple of walks to begin his night. A double play and strikeout is how Saalfrank responded to end the game as Amarillo took a 2-0 series lead with a 4-0 shutout.

With the win, Amarillo will turn their attention to trying to secure at least a series split when the teams take the field tomorrow. The series from Midland will continue from Momentum Bank Ballpark as the Sod Poodles will send RHP Chad Patrick (2-5, 4.89 ERA) to the rubber.


OUR HILL TOPPER: Jamison Hill tied his season-high with another solid 4.2 IP on Wednesday night. After cruising through four innings with five strikeouts and just two hits surrendered, Hill saw the third hit of his night and a pair of walks brought an end to his night after a season-high 88 pitches. Over his last three starts, Hill has yielded just four earned runs over 12.1 IP and scattered six hits, good for a 2.97 ERA. Over the same span, he has racked up 15 strikeouts and walked seven. He has at least five strikeouts in six of his 11 games so far this year, including each of his last three starts.

LAWnched: One night after collecting the Sod Poodles first hit of the game and putting the first run on the game, Jordan Lawlar wanted an encore. The D-backs' No. 1-rated prospect launched a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning for the Sod Poodles' first hit and run of the game on Wednesday. His eighth homer of the year placed him in a tie at the top of the club for home runs in 2023. His 2-for-3 night on Wednesday included a double in the sixth as his AVG and OPS continued to rise .223 and .766 respectively. He has collected back-to-back multi-hits to start the series and is 4-for-8 with two doubles, a homer, two RBI, and three runs scored this week.

363 DAYS, BUT WHO'S COUNTING?: In his first appearance against Midland this season, Josh Green went 2.0 IP without a hit against him and picked up a strikeout. For his efforts, he was rewarded with the win, his first of the year and first since June 9, 2022, vs. Frisco. In four games away from HODGETOWN, Green has posted a 1.00 ERA over 9.0 IP and has six strikeouts to just three walks, while scattering just four hits.

WORKIN' IT:Blake Workman tossed his ninth game without an earned run allowed in his 15 appearances this season. In relief of Hill, Workman went 1.1 IP and didn't allow a hit. He also kept the bases loaded in the top of the fifth. In two games against Midland this year, Workman has pitched 4.0 IP without allowing a run.

ANYTHING > ZERO: Amarillo pitching collected the fourth shutout of the year, holding the Texas League leaders in team batting average to zero runs for just the third time in 2023. The three hits allowed between Hill, Workman, Green, and Saalfrank was the eighth time this year that Amarillo has held the opposition to three or fewer hits in 53 games. Last year, in 137 games, Amarillo had just six games where the opponents had three or fewer hits.

HIT OR BLISS: Despite going hitless for just the sixth time in 46 games played this season, Ryan Bliss still had an impact on the game. The D-backs' no. 29-rated prospect collected two walks, stole a base, and crossed the plate. Bliss upped his stolen base total to 19 on the season and is 19-for-24 on stolen base attempts this year. His 19 steals accumulate just over 25% of the 74 total stolen bases by Amarillo this season. He set his career-high with 31 steals a season ago for High-A Hillsboro, doing so in 110 games. He is currently 12 away from tying that through just 46 games in 2023. His steals total currently ranks fifth in the Texas League.

OIL PAN CUPdate:Amarillo closed the gap once again in the Oil Pan Cup race, as the series sits at 4-3 in favor of the RockHounds after they took 4-of-6 earlier in the year at HODGETOWN.