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Oat Milkers Power Past Cardinals

Vukovich, De Los Santos Homer in 13-9 Win
April 17, 2024

AMARILLO, Texas (April 16, 2024) – Playing as the Malmo Oat Milkers, Amarillo handed the Springfield Cardinals their first loss of the season to open the series on Tuesday night. The two teams combined for 22 runs on 30 hits with Amarillo with Amarillo getting the 13-9 win. Jamison Hill

AMARILLO, Texas (April 16, 2024) – Playing as the Malmo Oat Milkers, Amarillo handed the Springfield Cardinals their first loss of the season to open the series on Tuesday night. The two teams combined for 22 runs on 30 hits with Amarillo with Amarillo getting the 13-9 win.

Jamison Hill limited Springfield to just two runs despite five singles coming against him in the top of the first inning. Neyfy Castillo played a part in limiting the damage when he hosed Matt Lloyd at the plate trying to score from second base on the Cardinals' fifth knock.

Amarillo doubled up Springfield during their first trip to the dish to quickly steal momentum right back. With two outs, Deyvison De Los Santos tripled home the first Oat Milkers' run of the game. Following a Kevin Graham walk, A.J. Vukovich put Amarillo in front with a three-run opposite-field homer. After Hill dealt a clean frame in the second, Amarillo's offense kept providing the run support.

Castillo and Wilderd Patiño traded places with doubles early in the second inning and De Los Santos drove home another two runs with a towering two-run shot in what was a five-hit, four-run Oat Milkers second inning for an 8-2 advantage.

Springfield chipped away with five runs over the next two innings to tighten things up at 8-7.

Again with two outs in the home half of the fourth Vukovich and J.J. D'Orazio provided some breathing room for Amarillo. Back-to-back RBI singles pushed the advantage to 10-7. The Cardinals would score the next two runs of the game to once again make it a one-run Oat Milkers lead. After seeing a pair of one-out singles come against him in the top of the eighth, Taylor Rashi would leave the tying run in scoring position with the help from Jesus Valdez. A sharply hit ball to third base was stabbed by Valdez and a nifty pick by De Los Santos at first kept it at a one-run game.

That lead quickly grew as Amarillo provided the right-hander a four-run cushion. Three consecutive one-out singles helped to plate the first of the three runs for Amarillo. The final two came when Graham added his second hit of the night to score Valdez and Tim Tawa.

Rashi was unfazed by a leadoff double in the top of the ninth. He quickly came back to retire each of the next three he faced to help secure the 13-9 win and collect his first save of the season in two innings of relief.

The Amarillo Sod Poodles will return on Wednesday when LHP Yu-Min Lin (0-0, 5.63 ERA) takes the hill for his third start of the year. He will be countered by Alex Cornwell (0-0, 4.50 ERA). First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.


THE POWER OF (OAT) MILK: Amarillo harnessed the power of the Oat Milk to record their most hits and runs in any game so far in 2024. The 16 hits Tuesday night were three more than their previous high of 13 (4/10 @ MID) and their 13 runs were nearly double the most they had scored through the first nine games. Amarillo had five of their 16 hits go for extra bases. A.J. Vukovich's first-inning home run now put him just one shy of tying Leandro Cedeño for the most home runs ever by a Sod Poodle with 30.

(G)OAT(ED): After going 2-for-5 with a pair of singles, Tim Tawa is tied with Juan Centeno for the most hits by a Sod Poodles player with 160 (reg. season). If you include the 2023 Texas League Playoffs, Tawa is already Amarillo's all-time hit leader after going 8-for-25. Tawa's 58 regular season XBH are still tied with Eduardo Diaz for the most ever in a Sod Poodles uniform. Tawa has now hit safely in all five games he has played with Amarillo this season, hitting 8-for-22 (.364) with five runs, two doubles, a RBI, a walk, and three stolen bases.

MILK MAN: Wilderd Patiño went 4-for-5 with a double, RBI, and three runs scored in the leadoff spot for Amarillo Tuesday night. He is the second Amarillo player with four hits in a game in 2024, matching Kevin Graham who did so the last time Amarillo played at HODGETOWN on April 7 vs. San Antonio. Tuesday night was Patiño's fourth multi-hit game in the nine that he has played. Him and Deyvison De Los Santos are tied for the most multi-hit games by an Amarillo player. Tuesday marked his third game in his 320-game minor league career with at least four hits. He set a career-high with a five-hit game on July 14th, 2022 at San Jose when he was with Visalia and had a four-hit night with Hillsboro on May 11, 2023 at Spokane.

GOLDEN GRAHAMS: Kevin Graham pitched in with a multi-hit effort, going 2-for-4 with the game's final two RBI. He also drew a walk and scored a run. Through six games played, Graham is hitting .455 (10-for-22) with three doubles, a home run, seven RBI, and four runs. His 10 hits on the season are 4th most by any Sod Poodle, trailing Deyvison De Los Santos (15), Wilderd Patiño (14), and A.J. Vukovich (12).

(B)OATS AND HOSED: Neyfy Castillo picked up the first outfield assist by an Amarillo player this year, cutting down a run at the plate in the bottom of the first inning. The strong-armed outfielder had 10 outfield assists for Amarillo in 2023, with nine of them coming from right field.

DE LOS SANT OATS: Deyvison De Los Santos continues his tear at the plate to begin the season after going 2-for-4 with a home run, his first triple of the season, three RBI, a walk, and three runs scored in the series-opening victory over the Cardinals. Through his first 10 games, he ranks eighth in the Texas League, hitting .366. His three homers are tied for the third most. The D-backs no. 14-rated prospect also ranks: T-2nd in hits (15), 2nd in total bases (28), T-3rd in XBH (6), 4th in SLG (.683), and 6th in OPS (1.092). Over hs last 66 games with Amarillo dating back to July 14, 2023, he is batting .328 (89-for-271) with 17 home runs, 17 doubles, four triples, 48 RBI including the 2023 Texas League Playoffs.

OAT, SWEET RELIEF: The Amarillo bullpen combined to spin 5.2 IP, allowing five hits, two earned runs, and eight strikeouts in relief of Jamison Hill. LHP Will Mabrey (1.1 IP, 2 K, BB) earned his first win of the year. RHP John Matthews (1.0 IP, 2 H, ER, K, BB) picked up his first hold, and RHP Taylor Rashi (2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 K) collected his first save. LHP Carlos Meza was the first man out of the 'pen and did not pick up a decision after going 1.1 IP with an earned run on three strikeouts and three walks. With the win, Will Mabrey can forever hold claim as being the very first pitcher in professional baseball to earn a winning decision as an Oat Milker. Amarillo was the third of the 120 minor-league teams to wear the specialty jersey and Albuquerque and Round Rock each dropped their game as the Oat Milkers.