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Naturals crush Soddies 14-3

Sod Poodles
The Amarillo Sod Poodles fell 14-3 in game two after the Northwest Arkansas Naturals' bats powered past with 18 hits in front of a 17th consecutive sellout crowd of over 6,400. The Sod Poodles collected eight hits on the night, highlighted by Ivan Castillo's two-hit performance with a home run to extend his hit streak to 17 games. 

Sod Poodles starter Jesse Scholtens (3-5) lasted just four innings while tying a career-high with eight runs allowed on 10 hits while allowing a walk and two strikeouts. J.C. Cosme followed with two innings of relief but surrendered another five runs (four earned) on seven hits. 

Dauris Valdez highlighted the Amarillo staff with his two frames of one-hit, one-run ball with three strikeouts. Infielder Peter Van Gansen sealed the top of the ninth in his second-career appearance on the mound with a hitless, scoreless frame. 

Amarillo got into the scoring column in the top of the first to take an early 1-0 lead. Castillo started the rhythm with a single to left field while Edward Olivares and Luis Torrens drew walks to load the bases. Then, Hudson Potts stretched a 3-2 count and eventually watched ball four to plate the run before the inning ended on a strikeout by Peter Van Gansen.

Northwest Arkansas quickly tied things up in the top of the second inning when Taylor Featherston struck a 2-1 pitch deep to left field for the solo home run to make it a 1-1 contest. 

The Sod Poodles extended back out to a one-run advantage in the top of the second. After Brad Zunica drew a leadoff walk, Buddy Reed lined a single to right field to put runners on the corners. Reed would be picked off at first for the initial out of the frame, but Rodrigo Orozco clutched up with a single through the hole at second base to make it a 2-1 score. 

In the fourth, the Naturals blew the game open with a seven-run half on six hits. Taylor Featherston added the first three runs on his second home run of the night, which crossed Khalil Lee and Emmanuel Rivera who both singled. Nick Hutchings restarted things with his one-out base hit up the middle while Angelo Castellano walked behind him. After a lineout by Nick Heath, Kevin Merrell knocked an RBI double and Gabriel Cancel capped it off with another three-run home run to make it an 8-2 game. 

In the top of the fifth, Featherston hit his third home run of the game in two-run fashion to give Northwest Arkansas a commanding 10-2 lead. Two more singles would restart the Naturals offensive rhythm and a single by Heath would plate both to extend their lead to 12-2. 

For a third consecutive inning, in the sixth, the Naturals scored, plating a solo run on two hits to extend out to a 13-3 lead. They scored a final run in the eighth inning to take a final 14-3 lead courtesy of Featherston's double to complete his seven RBI night. 

The Sod Poodles head into the third game of the four-game set with the Naturals Sunday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

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