Little Rock, Arkansas (September 7, 2023) – For the second time in three games to begin the series, Amarillo pitchers held the Arkansas hitters to just three hits. Scoreless into the top of the seventh, Tim Tawa delivered the game-winning RBI as the Sod Poodles blanked the Travs 1-0 on
Little Rock, Arkansas (September 7, 2023) – For the second time in three games to begin the series, Amarillo pitchers held the Arkansas hitters to just three hits. Scoreless into the top of the seventh, Tim Tawa delivered the game-winning RBI as the Sod Poodles blanked the Travs 1-0 on Thursday night.
Jamison Hill picked up right where he left off last Friday night at HODGETOWN. The Amarillo right-hander worked through the first three innings on Thursday night facing the minimum despite a walk in the bottom of the second. The first hit Hill allowed came via a leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth but he worked around it by retiring each of the next three he faced.
Amarillo's bats were held in check as well, having just three hits through their first five trips to the plate. The Sod Poodles left a pair of baserunners in scoring position - one in the second and one in the fourth as the game moved to the bottom of the fifth. After working ahead in the count with a first-pitch strike, Jamison Hill was attended to by the trainer and left the game, bringing in Conor Grammes from the bullpen. Consecutive strikeouts were followed by a walk but a caught stealing brought an end to the inning for Amarillo.
The best scoring opportunity for either team came in the top of the sixth. With two outs and runners on first and second, Neyfy Castillo drew a walk to load the bases for the Sod Poodles. A strikeout meant the game would head to the bottom of the sixth scoreless and Grammes heading back to the mound. A leadoff walk was followed by three straight outs to move the game to the final three innings.
Consecutive singles sent Tawa to the plate where he came through with the third single of the inning, scoring S.P. Chen from second easily. The Amarillo threat was limited to just one run with a double play and ground-out keeping it at a one-run Sod Poodles advantage.
Jake Rice took over on the mound for Grammes after working two hitless innings with three strikeouts and a pair of walks. Rice struck out the first two batters he was asked to face ahead of a single to keep the Travs at-bats alive. A wild pitch, walk, and another wild pitch put two runners into scoring position ahead of the second walk in the inning to load the bases for Arkansas. Rice induced a fly ball to get out of the inning and help to keep the Travs off the scoreboard.
Amarillo looked poised to tack onto their lead in the top of the eighth with a pair of hit by pitches and a wild pitch placing two into scoring position with just one out. Back-to-back strikeouts kept it at a 1-0 Sod Poodles lead. Another two-out single in the bottom of the eighth brought on a pinch runner and pitching change with Taylor Rashi taking over on the bump. Following a stolen base, Rashi ended the inning by striking out the lone batter he faced. A three-up-three-down top of the ninth sent Rashi back to work. The right-hander followed suit as he retired all three he was asked to face in the bottom of the ninth, punctuating the Sod Poodles 1-0 shutout win with his second strikeout of the game.
Now up two games to one in the series, Amarillo will look to take control when the teams face off on Friday night. LHP Yu-Min Lin will take the ball for Amarillo. The D-backs' no. 4-rated prospect is 3-2 with a 5.06 ERA since his promotion to Amarillo. First pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
HILL YES: Jamison Hill extended his current scoreless streak to 17.0 IP after allowing just one hit over his four innings on Thursday night. The 17 innings without a run allowed is now the longest such streak by an Amarillo pitcher so far this season, surpassing the 16.2 IP Chad Patrick had earlier this year from July 19-30th. Over his last three starts, Hill has allowed just six hits and has 12 strikeouts to just three walks.
TAYLOR TIME: Taylor Rashi has worked his last five appearances without a run against him after his 1.1 IP on Thursday night. The right-hander also collected his first save with Amarillo after retiring each of the four batters that he faced. In six total appearances with Amarillo this year, Rashi is 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA. Over his last five appearances, Rashi has allowed just one hit and one walk with 12 strikeouts.
TWOCOVICH: A.J. Vukovich was the lone Amarillo batter to record a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4, collecting two of the Sod Poodles' seven hits for the game. It was his first multi-hit game since August 29th against Midland when he also went 2-for-4. He trails Deyvison De Los Santos by one for the team lead in hits in 2023.
ZERO: Amarillo earned their seventh shutout victory on the year and their second in September after blanking the Midland RockHounds last Friday night when Hill also took the mound. Each of the last three Sod Poodles shutout victories have come with Hill being the Amarillo starter after also winning 1-0 on August 25th in San Antonio. The 1-0 shutout win was Amarillo's third of the year with that winning score.
FIVE OR LESS: Holding the Travelers to just three hits for the game, it was the 26th time this year Amarillo pitchers have held their opponent to five or fewer hits, and the second time this series alone. Amarillo held the Travs to just three hits in the series opener on Tuesday night. It was the 13th time they held their opponent to three or fewer hits in a game in 2023.