Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Sod Poodles Fend Off Late Push, Win Third Straight Over Tulsa

Fletcher Homers Twice In Win
(John Moore)
September 10, 2021

Thursday, September 9, 2021 vs. Tulsa [LAD] Tulsa Drillers (58-53) | Amarillo Sod Poodles (54-56) Amarillo, Texas - The Amarillo Sod Poodles made it three straight wins with their 6-5 win over the Drillers on Thursday night. Amarillo had to fend off a late push by the Drillers but got

Thursday, September 9, 2021 vs. Tulsa [LAD]

Tulsa Drillers (58-53) | Amarillo Sod Poodles (54-56)

Amarillo, Texas - The Amarillo Sod Poodles made it three straight wins with their 6-5 win over the Drillers on Thursday night. Amarillo had to fend off a late push by the Drillers but got a career-night from Matt Brill along with a career-first for D-backs' No. 19 rated prospect Dominic Fletcher.

Infielder Buddy Kennedy picked up the first hit of the night for either side when he hit his 13th home run of the year in the bottom of the second inning. The Millville, New Jersey native sent the first pitch of the home half of the inning over the fence in right field giving Amarillo a 1-0 lead.

The Sod Poodles added to their lead in each of the next three innings. Ryder Jones doubled in the third inning and then scored when Ben DeLuzuio singled and was able to advance all the way to third base on an errant throw. DeLuzio scored on Stone Garrett's ground out to the Drillers' second baseman.

D-backs' No. 19 rated prospect Dominic Fletcher extended the lead with his 12th home run of the year. The former Arkansas Razorback ended his mini home run drought after not homering in his last 20 games going back to August 12th. The solo shot carried the berm in right field and hit off the back fence for a 4-0 lead after the fourth inning.

Amarillo starter Tommy Henry issued a walk and a single in the first four innings but faced the minimum after inducing two double plays - one in the third and another in the fourth. He retired the first two batters he faced in the fifth before allowing a solo home run with two outs - just the second hit he had allowed on the night.

The Soddies strung together three hits in the bottom of the fifth inning including DeLuzio's second hit of the night and a bunt single by Geraldo Perdomo. The third hit of the inning allowed DeLuzio to score, regaining Amarillo's four run advantage.

The first real hiccup for Henry came in the top of the sixth. The left-hander issued two walks to lead off the inning. Back-to-back one out singles scored a pair of runs and brought an end to Henry's night. He finished the game going 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with five strikeouts.

Right-hander Matt Brill came out of the bullpen to retire the next two batters. One via a strikeout and another on a slick pick of a sharply hit ball by first baseman Andy Yerzy to keep two Drillers stranded.

Brill got more defensive help in the top of the seventh inning. A backhand scoop from Kennedy at second and a diving play by Perdomo at shortstop kept Tulsa from reaching base. He then came back out for the eighth inning and retired the first two batters he faced - making it seven in a row for the hard throwing right-hander. A single followed by an error kept the inning alive and put the potential tying run aboard. A balk by Brill moved both into scoring position but he worked his way out of the jam by getting an easy ground ball to Yerzy at first base.

Fletcher added his second home run of the game to leadoff the bottom of the eighth inning with an opposite field home run. It was Fletcher's first career multi-HR game and gave Amarillo a three-run advantage which proved critical.

Blake Rogers became the second bullpen arm used by Amarillo Thursday night. The Amarillo saves leader walked the first batter he faced before seeing Tulsa draw within one run after Devin Mann's second home run of the night. Consecutive flyouts set up a showdown between Rogers and Tulsa pinch hitter Ryan Noda. The Drillers infielder currently has the second most home runs in the Double-A Central this season.

Rogers reared back and blew three straight strikes past Noda to secure the win and his 11th save of the year.

After earning at least a series split with the victory on Thursday the Sod Poodles aim for another series win tomorrow night. Right-hander Drey Jameson (3-0, 3.06 ERA) gets the ball for Amarillo. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM from HODGETOWN.


Stay Hot, Soddies: The Amarillo Sod Poodles have been one of the hottest teams in all of Double-A since the calendar turned to August. After picking up their third straight win to begin this series against the Drillers, Amarillo is now 23-12 since August 1st. The team with the next most wins is the Akron RubberDucks (Double-A, Cleveland) who have 22 wins in this span.

Brill The Thrill: Amarillo reliever Matt Brill set a new career-high by tossing 2.2 innings in relief of Tommy Henry Thursday night. Brill topped his previous career-high of two innings which he had set multiple times. The last time the former Appalachian State Mountaineer tossed two innings was August 18, 2019 with Double-A Jackson. Prior to tonight, his season-high was 1.1 innings which he hadn't done since August 1st against San Antonio. It was just the fifth time this season he had gone more than one inning in any of his 24 appearances. He retired the first seven batters he faced before allowing a single and then an error kept the inning alive. He got out of the jam by getting a ground ball, keeping the potential tying runs stranded in scoring position.

Dom Bombs: After not having a home run in any of his last 20 games, Dominic Fletcher ended his drought with a pair of home runs in the Thursday night victory. The former second round pick out of the University of Arkansas now has 13 home runs on the year. It marked the first time in his professional career he had a multi-HR game. He played 55 games in 2019 with Single-A Kane County and hit five home run in his first professional season.

Save The Day: Sod Poodles' closer Blake Rogers added to his career-year, picking up his 11th save of his 2021 campaign. The Lewisville, TX native was signed by the D-backs' after beginning the year playing for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks - an Indy Ball team. Since joining Amarillo, the righty set his career-high for saves in a single-season when he earned his seventh save on August 26 vs. Frisco. Since August 1st, he has converted on 10-of-11 save opportunities, leading all of minor league baseball in saves in the span.

Buddy Blast: Infielder Buddy Kennedy got the night started with his 13th home run of the year. The Millville, NJ native sent the first pitch he saw in the second inning over the right field wall for a 1-0 lead. Over his last 15 games, Kennedy is hitting .298 (17-for-57) with four home runs and 10 RBI. His 18 total home runs on the year rank T-4th in the D-backs' organization this year. He also ranks top 10 in walks (3rd, 48), hits (9th, 87), and RBI (10th, 53).

Homer Happy: With another three home runs on Thursday night, the Amarillo Sod Poodles have now hit 131 home runs during the 2021 season. Another nine over their last 10 games would give them the most homers in a single season, topping the 139 hit by the 2019 Texas League Champions.

Michigan...More Like WWWichigan: Amarillo starter Tommy Henry (4-6, 4.79 ERA) recorded is third straight win on Thursday night. He came into the game with wins in each of his last two starts, and had allowed just one earned run in those games combined. He gave up three runs on four hits tonight but still walked away with his fourth win of his first professional season. The left-hander also tallied five strikeouts, giving him 133 on the year which is the most in the Double-A Central. He has done so in 112.2 innings which also is tops in the league.