Amarillo, Texas (September 1, 2023) – A night after being held to five hits and zero runs, Amarillo bounced back to win 10-0 on Friday night. Amarillo was paced by a dominant start by Jamison Hill and five home runs combined coming off the bat of Seth Beer and Caleb
Amarillo, Texas (September 1, 2023) – A night after being held to five hits and zero runs, Amarillo bounced back to win 10-0 on Friday night. Amarillo was paced by a dominant start by Jamison Hill and five home runs combined coming off the bat of Seth Beer and Caleb Roberts.
Roberts ended a 16.0 IP scoreless drought by the Amarillo offense dating back to Wednesday night with a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to put the Sod Poodles up by a run.
The offense carried it over into the second inning of work. In a battle of the Beer, Amarillo's Beer got the better of Midland's Blake Beers by jumping over the first pitch he saw to lead off the frame with an opposite-field solo shot. Following a RockHounds error, a single and walk loaded the bases for Tim Tawa. He added to the lead with a two-RBI single and pushed runners to the corners. Five pitches later, Roberts hit his second home run in as many plate appearances to extend Amarillo's lead to 7-0.
Jamison Hill worked through the first nine batters he faced to start the game with three strikeouts, no walks, and no hits to send the bats right back to the plate.
In his second plate appearance Beer needed to see one pitch once again, this time taking Jorge Juan deep to right field for his second home run of the night. Hill retired all three he faced in the top of the fourth while Amarillo was held in check and without a hit or a run for just the first time in four trips to the plate. Hill's no-hitter was broken up with one out in the top of the fifth, but the right-hander induced a ground ball and double play to leave the mound having faced the minimum of 15 batters in his start. Back out for the sixth, Hill worked three straight ground balls to keep him through the minimum after the sixth.
With Amarillo being retired in order during their trip to the plate in the sixth, Hill trotted back to the mound for the top of the seventh. A leadoff single was just the second he had allowed on the night, but similar to his first on Friday, he pitched his way out of trouble with a ground ball double play. A flyout kept him at the minimum through seven.
Being a 10-0 lead, Midland decided to throw a position player for the remaining two innings. Shane McGuire allowed just two hits over his two-inning pitched as the Sod Poodles were held scoreless over the final three innings.
Back out for the eighth, Hill surrendered his first walk of the game before a single put runners on first and second with nobody out. A ground ball to Deyvison De Los Santos was taken to the third base bag for the first out of the inning. A deep fly ball to the center field wall forced the runners to pause and meant they could only advance a base to load the bags. Hill then induced his third double play to get out of the jam and complete eight innings without a run allowed.
Raffi Vizcaino headed to the mound for the final inning. A pop-up was tracked down in foul ground by a spinning De Los Santos for the first out of the ninth. Vizcaino then pitched consecutive ground outs to complete the shutout win for Amarillo a night after being blanked themselves.
Back to even in the series, Amarillo will try to gain a series lead when the two teams take the field on Saturday. D-backs' no. 4-rated prospect Yu-Min Lin (3-2, 5.19 ERA) will take the ball for Amarillo in game five of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
BOMBERTS IN THE BOMB CITY: Caleb Roberts hit home runs in each of his first two at-bats of the game, his third career multi-home run game and his second of the year. His last multi-homer game came back on July 15th vs. Frisco. Roberts is up to 16 home runs on the season, tied for the third-most by any Sod Poodles player this year and Friday night's home runs were his first since August 6 against Corpus Christi. Roberts 43 total extra-base hits this year are tied for the fifth-most in the Texas League in 2023 while he ranks fifth in SLG (.517) and is sixth in OPS (.895). 13 of Roberts 16 season home runs have come over his last 46 games played since June 25th.
CHEERS TO BEER: Seth Beer turned in a career night at the plate, hitting three home runs in his first three at-bats of the game. He saw a total of just five pitches for his three homers, sending the first pitch of each of his first two at-bats over the fence. It was Beer's first career three-home run game, and just the third time in franchise history a player has hit three home runs, joining A.J. Vukovich who did so on July 3rd agaBinst Tulsa, and Edward Olivares who did so on May 5, 2019, against Arkansas. Beer now has five career multi-HR games, with his last coming on August 15, 2021, when he was with Triple-A Reno against El Paso. Beer and Roberts teamed up to have multi-home run games for just the third time in the same game in Sod Poodles history. Blaze Alexander, Corbin Carroll, and Dominic Fletcher all had a multi-HR game against Midland on Mother's Day last season at HODGETOWN while Luis Basabe and Michael De La Cruz each had a multi-HR game on the road against Frisco on June 5, 2021. Beer's last home run prior to Saturday night came back on August 5th at HODGETOWN against Corpus Christi when he hit Amarillo's first walk-off home run of the season.
KING OF THE HILL: Jamison Hill has been flat-out dominant over his last two starts, combining to throw 13 straight scoreless innings after working a career-high eight innings pitched on Friday night. Hill surrendered four hits to the RockHounds but was aided by a pair of double plays to face the minimum number of batters through the seventh inning. The 8.0 IP tied the Sod Poodles franchise high by a pitcher, tying Slade Cecconi who worked eight innings against Frisco on June 8, 2022, at HODGETOWN. Over his last two starts, Hill has retired 37 of 44 batters he faced and has allowed just five hits over his last 13.0 IP with 10 strikeouts and just two walks allowed.
KA-CHOW: SOD POODLES TAP INTO ROUTE 66 SPEED: The Sod Poodles and RockHounds played their game in 1:56, the fastest nine-inning game in Sod Poodles franchise history at HODGETOWN. The previous quickest game time at home came on June 8, 2022, when Amarillo and Frisco played in 2:01. The two fastest nine-inning games in Sod Poodles history have both now come against Midland, as the two clubs played at Momentum Bank Ballpark on August 21, 2021, in 1:50.
ZERO, NADA, ZILCH: A night after being held off the scoreboard for just the fifth time at HODGETOWN in team history, Amarillo returned the favor with a 10-0 shutout of the RockHounds. It was Amarillo's seventh shutout victory in 2023, with two coming over the last seven games. With Hill on the mound in San Antonio on August 25th, the Sod Poodles beat the Missions 1-0. Surprisingly, that game was played in 2:11 compared to the 1:56 Amarillo and Midland played on Friday night with 10x the amount of runs scored in the game.