AMARILLO, TX - The Tulsa Drillers and the Amarillo Sod Poodles met in a regular season game Wednesday night at Hodgetown, but the game more resembled a playoff matchup. The two teams traded runs through the first nine innings, but it was Amarillo who struck last, plating a run in
AMARILLO, TX - The Tulsa Drillers and the Amarillo Sod Poodles met in a regular season game Wednesday night at Hodgetown, but the game more resembled a playoff matchup. The two teams traded runs through the first nine innings, but it was Amarillo who struck last, plating a run in the bottom of the tenth inning to claim a 6-5 walk-off victory over the Drillers.
It was the second straight loss in Amarillo for the Drillers, but it was not all bad news. Frisco also lost on Wednesday, keeping Tulsa just two games out of the second and final playoff spot in the Double-A Central standings.
The start of the game could not have gone much better for the Drillers. Leadoff batter James Outman hit the first pitch of the game over the left field fence to quickly open the scoring.
One pitch later, Michael Busch matched Outman with a drive over the right field fence to make it a 2-0 lead. For Busch, it was his 20th home run of the season.
Los Angeles Dodgers #4 ranked minor league prospect Bobby Miller made his first-ever Double-A start on the mound for the Drillers, and he worked around a leadoff single in the bottom of the first inning to record a scoreless frame.
Miller ran into trouble in second. With one out, a base hit and a walk put runners at first and second for the Sod Poodles. Centerfielder Eduardo Diaz brought both runners home with his second triple of the year, and catcher Andy Yerzy followed with his third home run, giving Amarillo a 4-2 lead.
The long balls continued in Tulsa’s half of the fifth inning. Outman struck again with his second homer of the game, and his eighth of the season, to pull the Drillers to within one. After Busch struck out, Miguel Vargas hit his 15th Double-A homer of the year to tie the game at 4-4.
The Sod Poodles went back in front with a run off reliever Justin Hagenman in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Dominic Fletcher doubled and Dominic Canzone brought him home with a base hit.
Once again, the Drillers had an answer. In the eighth inning, Vargas singled and swiped second base. Hunter Feduccia delivered the clutch, two-out hit with single to left that scored Vargas to tie the game at 5-5.
Neither team scored in the ninth, sending the game into extra innings. The Drillers could not produce a run in the top of the tenth despite putting runners at the corners with just one out. Ryan Noda and Feduccia both popped out, setting the stage for Amarillo’s walk-off.
With the placed runner at second, Tulsa reliever Guillermo Zuniga struck out the leadoff batter Geraldo Perdomo. That brought Stone Garrett to the plate, the Sod Poodles’ top run producer. With a base open, Garrett came through with a lined base hit into the gap in left-center field to bring home the winning run.
The unearned run saddled Zuniga with the loss, his first since opening night of the season and snapped his seven-game winning streak.
*Miller, a University of Louisville product, worked 2.2 innings in his debut, surrendering four runs on five hits and a walk. He had two strikeouts.
*Zach Willeman followed Miller to the mound and allowed just one hit in 2.1 scoreless relief innings.
*The Drilles out-hit the Poodles 11-10 in the game.
*Vargas finished 3-5, raising his league-best average to .319, while Outman and Feduccia added two hits each.
The Drillers and Sod Poodles will play the third game of their six-game series on Thursday, September 9 at 7:05 p.m. at Amarillo’s HODGETOWN.
The pitching matchup will feature Tulsa RHP Clayton Beeter (0-1, 3.00) against Amarillo LHP Tommy Henry (3-6, 4.78 ERA).