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Sod Poodles pull within 3 games of Frisco with 5-4 win

Sod Poodles
The Amarillo Sod Poodles walked-off on the Midland RockHounds with their four-hit, two-run bottom of the ninth to make it a final 5-4 series opener in front 5,371. With the bases loaded, Owen Miller knocked a one-out single to left field through the hole at shortstop, allowing Rodrigo Orozco to score the winning run. With the victory, the Sod Poodles are now within three games of the first-place Frisco RoughRiders in the South division. 

Sod Poodles' starting pitcher Emmanuel Ramirez spanned seven and one-third innings while striking out seven Midland batters and allowed four runs on five hits. Three of those five hits were RockHounds home runs. Ramirez's outing was the longest of any Amarillo starter this season. Kyle Lloyd, who picked up his second win of 2019, completed one and two-thirds frames while allowing no runs despite walking four batters. 

Brad Zunica highlighted the Sod Poodles offense with his three-for-four, two-double night with two RBI collected. 

In the second inning, Midland struck early when catcher Jonah Heim belted a solo home run to right field to give the RockHounds the early 1-0 advantage. One inning later, Dairon Blanco hit another solo home run to right field to extend the Midland lead to 2-0. 

Zunica tied the ballgame up at 2-2 in the fourth inning when he crushed a two-RBI double to center field allowing Luis Torrens and Webster Rivas to score before Zunica was thrown out trying to stretch a triple.

The RockHounds answered right back in the top of the fifth when Blanco hit his second home run of the night to deep left field to put Midland back on top 4-2. In the bottom of the inning, the Sod Poodles plated one run of their own after Ivan Castillo hit a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Chris Baker to score and cut the RockHounds lead to 4-3. 

Amarillo threatened in the bottom of the eighth inning, putting runners on the corners with no outs but were unable to push a run across. The inning came to an end when Rivas grounded into a double play and Zunica grounded out to first. 

Taylor Kohlwey started the ninth-inning rally with a single to left field. With Buddy Reed in the game as a pinch-runner for Kohlwey, Orozco singled to center field on a perfectly executed hit-and-run, moving Reed to third. Ivan Castillo, who was looking to extend his hit streak to eight games, followed suit and ripped a base hit to left field plating Reed and advancing Orozco to third base to put the winning run 90 feet away. An intentional walk to Edward Olivares would load the bases for Miller, and then, on a 2-2 count, he hit a single through the hole at shortstop to bring home Orozco and give Amarillo the 5-4 victory. 

On Friday night, the Amarillo Sod Poodles and Midland RockHounds will resume their four-game series in downtown Amarillo. First pitch Friday night is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. as right-handed pitcher Jesse Scholtens will take the mound from the Sod Poodles and will face off against the RockHounds righty James Naile in the contest.

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