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Sod Poodles Walk Off Rockhounds for Fourth Straight Win

Teammates douse Dominic Fletcher in water following the team's walk-off win over Midland (John Moore)
May 20, 2021

AMARILLO, Texas – After the Sod Poodles offense put on a show in their 2021 home opener, game two against the Rockhounds was a pitchers duel throughout. Amarillo finally found a way to break through in the 12th inning, picking up the 3-2 win. Southpaw Tyler Holton made his second

AMARILLO, Texas – After the Sod Poodles offense put on a show in their 2021 home opener, game two against the Rockhounds was a pitchers duel throughout. Amarillo finally found a way to break through in the 12th inning, picking up the 3-2 win.

Southpaw Tyler Holton made his second start of the season and posted his best outing so far in the Sod Poodles win. Holton entered tonight's game 0-2 with a 27.00 ERA in 2.2 IP. He made his Double-A debut on May 3 at Tulsa, lasting just two-thirds of an inning where he was roughed up for six runs on four hits. His second outing was just the third - and longest - relief appearance since being drafted in the 9th round in 2018. He went two innings against Wichita on May 13 and allowed two runs on one hit in the loss.

A trip back to HODGETOWN seemed to be just what he needed, giving up only one hit in four innings while fanning eight Midland hitters including five of the first six outs of the ballgame.

Right-hander Jeff Bain came in to relieve Holton in the fifth inning and retired three of the first four he faced. Midland finally opened the scoring in the sixth following back-to-back hits including a one-out RBI double for a 1-0 lead.

It didn't take the Sod Poodles long to knot things up. Jarett Rindfleisch, who went deep for his first home run of the year in last nights win, became the first Soddie to homer in back-to-back games in 2021. Tonight he blasted a 2-0 pitch just right of HODGETOWN's Bar 352 in left field to tie the game.

Each team had a chance to extend their lead in the seventh. The Rockhounds left a pair of runners stranded after a double and walk. Amarillo led off their half of the inning with Alek Thomas reaching after a dropped third strike. A walk placed the go-ahead run on second before a ground out allowed both runners to advance into scoring position. Midland's risk/reward decision to intentionally walk the bases loaded paid off with a lazy ground ball to end the Soddies threat. Each side went down in order in the eighth.

Amarillo once again made a pitching change to begin the ninth, calling on lefty Matt Gage for his fifth appearance of the year. Gage took the mound tonight as one of three current Sod Poodles pitchers to not allow a run in at least six innings pitched. He retired the ninth in order with a pair of strikeouts.

The Sod Poodles once again had the leadoff batter reach, this time via walk. Back-to-back strikeouts however tamed any chances of Amarillo pushing the winning run across in the ninth and sent the Soddies to their second extra innings game of the year.

Gage remained on the mound for the top of the 10th and continued his dominance, retiring the side in order, leaving the go-ahead run stranded on third with his third strikeout through two innings. In the home half of the 10th, the Sod Poodles had the winning run on third base after a wild pitch provided Dominic Fletcher the opportunity to move up a base with one out. A dibbler in front of the plate followed by a strikeout sent the game to the 11tth.

After both teams failed to score in the 10th with the new extra inning rule, Midland finally took advantage of the runner starting on second. After advancing him to third on a fly ball to right field, a double broke the tie and gave the Rockhounds a one run advantage. Much like they did in the sixth, Amarillo matched the Rockhounds run in their half of the inning. The second dropped third strike where a Sod Poodles player was able to reach base pushed the tying run to third and later scored when Alexis Pantoja grounded into a double play.

Edgar Arredondo became the fourth pitcher of the game for the Sod Poodles, replacing Gage in the 12th. Arredondo, who leads the team in wins made short work of the Rockhounds striking out two and retiring the side in order.

In the bottom of the 12th a Jake McCarthy ground ball advanced Thomas to third and set the stage for Amarillo's first walk-off victory of 2021. Dominic Fletcher sent an opposite field line drive into left field over the outstretched glove of the shortstop and cleared the Sod Poodles bench into a celebration behind second base.

Game three of this series will continue tomorrow night at HODGETOWN with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM.


A Night Of Firsts: Jarett Rindfleisch's sixth inning home run made him the first Sod Poodle player to hit a homer in consecutive games and first since Hudson Potts went yard in back-to-back games on August 31 and September 1, 2019. It is also the first walk-off victory for Amarillo in 2021.

Through The Quad and To the Gymnasium: D-backs' No. 4 ranked prospect Alek Thomas has now hit safely in five consecutive games making it the longest hitting streak by any Sod Poodles player to date in 2021. The win gave the Soddies their fourth straight win, the most consecutive wins for this team so far. Tonight's win also marked the fifth straight win over the Rockhounds dating back to game three of the 2019 Texas League South Division Championship Series. The Soddies rattled off three straight wins to secure their place in the 2019 Texas League Championship Series and have added back-to-back wins to begin this series.

Zero* Gage: The Midland run in the top of the 11th off southpaw Matt Gage is the first run surrendered by Gage this year in 9.2 IP. However, with the extra inning rules and runner starting on second base, that run does not count as an earned run against Gage who still owns a 0.00 ERA with 13 strikeouts in those 9.2 IP Gage remains one of three current Sod Poodles pitchers who have yet to allow a run.

Insert DJ Khaled Gif Here: Edgard Arredondo picked up ANOTHER relief win after coming into the game in the top of the 12th and retiring the side in order with a pair of strikeouts. He is now 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 8.2 IP and his four wins leads all of minor league baseball.

BY YOU BOYS: The Amarillo pitching quartet of Holton, Bain, Gage, and Arredondo combined for 18 strikeouts. Gage had two in the ninth, making it 14 in nine innings, tying the team high set on opening night at Tulsa on May 4. The 18 total now sets the overall team-high.

More Duck Hunting Please: Even in victory, the Sod Poodles left a lot of runners in scoring position going 1-for-19 with RISP and leaving 14 men on base.