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Three-Run 12th Lifts Sod Poodles To Victory

Sod Poodles Outlast Travs In Extras
(John Moore)
May 31, 2022

North Little Rock, AR – An RBI double from Nick Dalesandro and a two-run home run from Roby Enriquez in the 12th inning led Amarillo (20-23) to a 4-1 victory over the Arkansas Travelers (20-23) on Friday night at Dickey-Stephens Park. Amarillo scored a run in the 5th, Arkansas scored

North Little Rock, AR – An RBI double from Nick Dalesandro and a two-run home run from Roby Enriquez in the 12th inning led Amarillo (20-23) to a 4-1 victory over the Arkansas Travelers (20-23) on Friday night at Dickey-Stephens Park.

Amarillo scored a run in the 5th, Arkansas scored one in the 7th, and the 1-1 tie held until the top of the 12th inning. The Sod Poodles were led by another quality start from Slade Cecconi (2-2) and improved to 4-2 in extra-inning games this season.

Cecconi was electric on Friday night in his best start of the year, throwing six scoreless innings in his second straight quality start. Arizona's No. 10 prospect allowed just three hits while picking up three strikeouts, and only let three runners into scoring position.

Slade's dazzling start was matched on the other side by Arkansas' Levi Stroudt, who struck out six Sod Poodles and allowed just one baserunner through the first four innings. Blaze Alexander was the first bat for Amarillo to break through, and he broke the tie with a solo home run to right field in the 5th. The long bomb was Stroudt's lone blemish of the night, and he finished with eight strikeouts.

Cecconi allowed a double and struck out one in the bottom of the 6th before being relieved in the 7th with a one-run lead. He exited in line for the win with a final line of 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, and 3 K on 91 pitches. The Sod Poodles put two on in the 7th and Ti'Quan Forbes stole third base, but couldn't plate an insurance run.

Ty Tice entered the game in relief in the bottom of the 7th but immediately loaded the bases with a single and two walks. He was relieved by Cam Booser before recording an out, and the Travelers capitalized on the situation by tying the game on an RBI groundout. Booser got out of the jam with an inning-ending double-play.

Neither team scored over the next four innings, but both had plenty of scoring opportunities. The Travelers led off the bottom of the 8th with a ground-rule double, but Booser flexed his clutch gene once again by retiring the next three in order. The Sod Poodles put two on in the top of the 9th but three strikeouts sunk the threat.

Blake Rogers relieved Booser in the 9th and extended the game with two high-leverage innings. He tossed a perfect 9th and issued two walks to load the bases in the 10th, but a flyout ended the inning. The Sod Poodles drew a walk to lead off the top of the 11th, but a double-play and a groundout kept it scoreless.

Jeff Bain entered in the bottom of the 11th and kept it tied 1-1 with the help of excellent defense. The first batter was retired on a sliding grab in right field by Eduardo Diaz, and the next two batters reached on a walk and hit-by-pitch to load the bases. Nick Dalesandro then came to the rescue in left field as he caught a flyout and gunned down the runner tagging up from third on a laser to catcher Juan Centeno.

Amarillo finally jumped ahead for good with three runs in the 12th. Forbes started on second base as the courtesy runner and he advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. The next batter struck out, but Dalesandro came up big once again with a two-out RBI ground-rule double to put the Sod Poodles up, 2-1. Roby Enriquez then put the game out of reach with a two-run home run to right field, his first career Double-A hit.

Junior Garcia came on in the save situation in the bottom of the 12th and earned his fourth save of the year with a perfect inning. Jeff Bain (3-1) earned his third win of the year.

The Sod Poodles out-hit the Travelers 8-5 and committed two errors. Leandro Cedeno, Juan Centeno, and Dalesandro led the way with two hits each and the Sod Poodles stole two bases. This was the longest game of the season for Amarillo, surpassing their three 11-inning games.

The series is now tied 2-2 after the Sod Poodles won the opener and were swept in yesterday's doubleheader. Bryce Jarvis (2-1, 5.97) will be on the mound for Amarillo in game five tomorrow with first pitch at 7:05 PM.


Meet The Roby-sons: OF Roby Enriquez made a splash in his second game as a Sod Poodle, knocking a two-run home run in the top of the 12th. The long bomb was not only his first career Double-A home run, but was also his first career Double-A hit. The Puerto Rico native made his Double-A debut in game two of Thursday's doubleheader after being called up from High-A Hillsboro on May 26. Through 15 games with the Hops this season, Enriquez batted .196 with one home run and two RBI. This is just his first year in affiliated ball after batting .351 in 87 games for the Boise Hawks of the Pioneer League in 2021.

Nick of Time: OF Nick Dalesandro came up clutch for the Sod Poodles in extra innings with his glove, arm and bat. First, he saved the game for Amarillo in the bottom of the 11th with the bases loaded and one out. He caught a flyout in left field and flexed his cannon by gunning down the runner tagging up from third with a perfect throw to home plate. The double-play ended the inning and sent the game to the 12th, where he plated the winning run on a two-out RBI double. Dalesandro went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored in the game and is batting .256 with eight RBI and nine stolen bases on the season.

Sea Of Thieves: The Sod Poodles ramped up their aggression on the basepath and stole two more bases tonight. Ti'Quan Forbes stole his second base of the season and Corbin Carroll stole his 15th, which ranks third in the Texas League. After stealing eight bases in the last series against Tulsa, Amarillo has already swiped seven against the Travelers. The Sod Poodles have stolen 55 bases this season, which ranks fourth in the Texas League and ninth in Double-A.

Slade Runner: RHP Slade Cecconi (2-2) was spectacular tonight and did not allow a run over six innings pitched. He struck out three batters and allowed three hits while only letting three runners reach scoring position. He exited in line for the win but notched a no-decision, and the quality start was his second in his last two appearances. On the year the Diamondbacks' No. 10 prospect sports a 5.27 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 42.2 innings pitched. Tonight's game was his second time going six innings and his longest scoreless start of the season.

The Longest Yard: Tonight's 12-inning game was the most innings the Sod Poodles have played in a game this season and their sixth extra-innings game. Amarillo is 2-1 in three 11-inning games this year and 1-1 in 10-inning games, good for 4-2 overall in extended games. In the extra frames, the Sod Poodles have outscored their opponents 15-11.