Corpus Christi, Texas (May 5, 2023) – The Sod Poodles plated 12 runs on 15 hits to knot the series at two games a side on Friday night in Corpus Christi. Amarillo hit around in the third, scoring seven runs on eight hits to take command, and never looked back,
Corpus Christi, Texas (May 5, 2023) – The Sod Poodles plated 12 runs on 15 hits to knot the series at two games a side on Friday night in Corpus Christi. Amarillo hit around in the third, scoring seven runs on eight hits to take command, and never looked back, beating the Hooks 12-8.
With the Hooks jumping out to an early 2-0 lead for the second night in a row, the Sod Poodles needed an answer quickly and got it in the form of A.J. Vukovich. The D-backs' no. 12-rated prospect clobbered his fourth homer of the year to cut the Hooks' advantage to just one run when the top of the second inning came to a close.
After allowing the first four batters of the game to reach, Sod Poodles starter Deyni Olivero helped retire the next six straight - aided by a Nick Dalesandro outfield assist to the plate to end the first.
Dalesandro led off the top of the third with a single and then got to trot home as Ryan Bliss put a ball into the bullpen beyond the left-center field wall to give the Sod Poodles a one-run advantage. The hit party continued as the sixth Amarillo knock of the inning came via a bases-loaded two-RBI single off the bat of Jonathan Guzman. Neyfy Castillo continued the barrage, adding another two runs with his two-RBI double, and turned it back over to the man who started the big inning. In total, Amarillo plated seven runs on eight hits in the inning to bully their way in front 8-2.
The Hooks aimed to get some of that back in the home half of the third inning but were stymied by Olivero, Dalesandro, and Jake Rice. Dalesandro made a leaping catch at the wall to rob extra bases from Corpus' DH Joey Loperfido with runners on first and second. Rice came in to relieve Olivero with the bases loaded and a 2-2 count. The southpaw's first pitch of the night ended the threat on a swinging strikeout. Rice was back out to work following a 1-2-3 inning at the plate by his Sod Poodles teammates. He followed suit, retiring the first three he faced with some help from a sliding catch in shallow right field by Roby Enriquez.
Corpus drew closer with big-league rehabber Chas McCormick hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. Right-hander Mitchell Stumpo took over on the bump with runners on the corners and nobody out. An outburst of their own, aided by four free passes and a hit batter, had the bases loaded once again for the Hooks. McCormick was back at the plate trailing by a run and facing the third Amarillo pitcher of the inning. Jackson Goddard replaced Stumpo and induced a flyout, bringing an end to a five-run Hooks offensive inning that had Amarillo clinging to an 8-7 lead.
The first two Sod Poodles in the sixth walked to turn the lineup over. A pair of outs and the third walk of the inning loaded the bases for Amarillo. However, the Sod Poodles were unable to tack on any insurance runs and would remain in front by a single run.
Goddard then spun a clean frame in his first full inning, working around a one-out double. Tim Tawa ended three straight scoreless Amarillo innings, bringing home Adrian Del Castillo who singled and was able to advance into scoring position for Tawa on a wild pitch. With two more in scoring position, the lead was unable to extend past two runs with a pair of strikeouts ending the top of the seventh. Goddard tallied two more strikeouts as he retired the Hooks in order in the bottom of the seventh.
Jordan Lawlar and Enriquez kickstarted a two-run eighth inning with back-to-back doubles. A bases-loaded walk plated the second run of the inning with nobody out. Unfortunately, consecutive strikeouts and a groundout left three stranded and the game sitting at 11-7 in favor of the Sod Poodles.
Right-hander Josh Green took over on the slab for Amarillo for the bottom of the eighth as the fifth pitcher used. A one-out walk proved harmless for Green, getting the next two batters out including the first strikeout of his night. Bliss singled and scored to push the lead to five runs for Green who returned for the bottom of the ninth and a 12-7 advantage.
A leadoff double came around to score on a two-out flare shot over the glove of Castillo manning first base for the Sod Poodles. It proved to be the final run of a marathon game, lasting three hours and 13 minutes.
After knotting the series at two apiece, the Sod Poodles will look to win their second straight and take a 3-2 advantage over the Hooks on Saturday in a late afternoon contest. First pitch from Whataburger Field is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. and will feature right-hander Marcos Tineo in his first Double-A road start after being promoted to Amarillo on April 25.
COASTAL CRUSHERS: The trio of A.J. Vukovich, Ryan Bliss, and Roby Enriquez have been thorns in the side of Hooks pitchers through the first 10 games between the two clubs. All three tallied multi-hit nights on Friday, including homers from Vukovich and Bliss. Vukovich is now hitting .371 (13-for-35) with three home runs, three doubles, and 11 RBI in nine games versus Corpus Christi. Enriquez is hitting .318 (7-for-22) with three doubles, four walks, and three RBI. Bliss is hitting .317 (13-for-41) with a pair of doubles, a home run, and six RBI.
SEVEN HEAVEN: The Sod Poodles tied their season-high, scoring seven runs in a single inning. They last scored seven in a frame on April 26 vs Frisco.
CLICK IT OR NICK IT: Outfielder Nick Dalesandro was all over the box score on Friday for the Sod Poodles. He recorded a multi-hit game, collecting a pair of singles in the top of the third inning. It was his third multi-hit game of the year and second against the Hooks, also collecting a pair of hits when the teams met on April 14. He also stole two bases and started his night by collecting an outfield assist, throwing out Shay Whitcomb at home to end the bottom of the first. Dalesandro made a highlight catch, robbing a home run in the bottom of the third. The do-it-all player also drew a walk and drove in a run in the win.
THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT BOB(BERS): After collecting 15 hits on Friday night, all three of the Sod Poodles top hitting performances have now come against the Hooks. The club set their season-high with 18 hits on April 12. The 15 hits are the second most in a game this season, beating out the 14 hits Amarillo collected against the Hooks on April 14 at HODGETOWN. The eight-hit third inning set the season-high for hits in an inning so far this year, topping the previous high of five they had twice with the last coming on April 26 against Frisco. All nine starters in the lineup collected a hit, the second time this season the lineup has accomplished that, also doing so in that April 12th game against Corpus.
GOOD AS GODDARD: Right-hander Jackson Goddard earned his first win of the year after tossing 2.1 IP with one hit allowed and three strikeouts. It was his first win since September 7, 2022 when he earned the win against High-A Everett when he was a Hillsboro Hop. It was his second straight relief appearance with three strikeouts and has six strikeouts in his last 4.1 IP and 14 batters faced. After allowing six earned in his first two appearances (1.0 IP total), Goddard has allowed just one earned over his last four appearances and 6.0 IP.