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Tawa Collects Four Hits in Sod Poodles 7-3 Loss

Amarillo Leaves 15 Stranded as Midland Evens Series
August 31, 2023

Amarillo, Texas (August 30, 2023) – Amarillo and Midland each tallied 15 hits on Wednesday night in a game the RockHounds took 7-3. The series levels at a game apiece as the two teams continue their push for the final playoff spot in the Texas League South. Tim Tawa started

Amarillo, Texas (August 30, 2023) – Amarillo and Midland each tallied 15 hits on Wednesday night in a game the RockHounds took 7-3. The series levels at a game apiece as the two teams continue their push for the final playoff spot in the Texas League South.

Tim Tawa started his four-hit night game with a single off Midland's Jack Perkins in the bottom of the first inning with one out. Caleb Roberts and Ivan Melendez followed Tawa aboard with a double and a walk respectively but all three were left stranded as the first inning came to a close.

Sod Poodles starter Luke Albright worked a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first thanks to Tawa's strong throw to nab an eager Cooper Bowman at second base after trying to get greedy with a leadoff double instead of a single. A double to begin the second was followed by Albright's second strikeout of the night. After delivering two pitches to the third batter he faced in the inning, Albright was attended to by the trainer and ultimately left the game after just 1.1 IP. Dillon Larsen was brought on to work the remainder of the second and retired each of the first two he faced out of the bullpen on short notice.

Amarillo pieced together three hits in their half of the second including a RBI single by Camden Duzenack to score the game's first run. Larsen then worked around a two-out walk in his first full inning of work to keep Amarillo up by a run. That lead grew to three thanks to a Deyvison De Los Santos two-run home run in the bottom of the third.

The RockHounds got one of those runs back in the next half-inning. Larsen allowed a one-out single and a walk before erasing the lead runner with a pickoff. The second hit of the inning then prompted a pitching change. Michel Otanez came on to relieve Larsen but a RBI double greeted him before leaving two men stranded with a strikeout to limit the damage with two in scoring position.

Back-to-back innings with a double play halted Amarillo's chances to tack on to their lead. Otanez kept Midland at bay with two more in scoring position in the top of the fifth by striking out the final two batters he faced.

Midland worked their way in front for the first time in the top of the sixth with a three-run home run. They then took a two-run lead after a walk came around to score on a two-out RBI triple with a perfect relay stopping it from being a three-run deficit on the attempted inside-the-park home run. In the bottom of the sixth, consecutive strikeouts with the potential tying run in scoring position kept Amarillo at a two-run disadvantage heading into the seventh. Conor Grammes struck out the side during his first inning of labor, leaving a leadoff single stranded in the process.

Amarillo once again left the bases loaded after getting three men aboard - all with two outs. Grammes worked around another single in the top of the eighth to keep it at a two-run game when his two innings of work came to an end. Tawa's fourth hit of the night came in the bottom of the inning with him and A.J. Vukovich both being stranded as Amarillo was unable to chip away at the deficit heading into the final inning of play.

The RockHounds grew their lead to four runs in the top of the ninth with a two-out, two-run home run. In the bottom, Seth Beer worked his way on base for the fourth time of the night with a single to start Amarillo's ninth. Each of the next three Amarillo batters were retired as Midland closed out game two of the series.

Even through the first two, Amarillo will aim to take the series lead on Thursday night. D-backs' no. 19-rated prospect, Dylan Ray, will make his Double-A debut on the mound for Amarillo. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at HODGETOWN.

NOTES:

KNOCK KNOCK: Tim Tawa set a single-game high in 2023 with his four hits on Wednesday night. He had previously had four three-hit games this season and is now one of just five Amarillo players with a four-hit game so far in 2023. Seth Beer leads that category with two separate four-hit games. Tawa's performance is the fourth four-hit game by an Amarillo player this month and just the seventh overall this season. He had four different four-hit games with High-A Hillsboro in 2022, with the last coming on June 17th on the road at Spokane. He set a career-high with a five-hit game on August 27, 2021, when he was with Low-A Visalia

DEY THAT ENDS IN Y: D-backs' no. 5-rated prospect Deyvison De Los Santos has multi-hit efforts in consecutive games and in nine of the 22 games he has played this month. On top of that, he has hits in 18 of the 22 games in August. He finished the game on Wednesday 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, and a run scored. He is one of just two players this year for Amarillo with 30+ multi-hit games and 15 of them have come since he returned to the active roster on July 14th. Over his last 36 games, De Los Santos is hitting .315 (47-for-149) with nine homers, nine doubles, a triple, and 27 RBI. His 19 XBH are tied for the fourth most in the Texas League since July 14th and just one off being tied for first in the category. He also ranks in the top 10 in HR (T-4th), total bases (4th, 85), SLG (5th, .570), runs scored (T-5th, 31), hits (5th), RBI (T-8th), and AVG (10th) during the stretch.

SETH LORD: Since the series finale in Tulsa on August 13th, Seth Beer is hitting .380 (19-for-50) over his last 13 games after a 2-for-3 game on Wednesday night. It was his third straight multi-hit game and 8th overall in his last 13. During the stretch, he has four doubles, five RBI, and five walks to go along with his 13 runs scored. In 34 home games with Amarillo in 2023, Beer raised his AVG to .341 (42-for-123).

DUZE YOU, BOO: Camden Duzenack continues to hit the ball well. He finished Wednesday 2-for-5 with a RBI and improved his AVG to .339 (65-for-192) in 52 games in an Amarillo jersey in 2023. Since returning to the roster for the start of the San Antonio series, Duzenack has played in all eight games with multi-hit efforts in four of those games. In these last eight games, he has five extra-base hits and eight RBI. Like Beer, he hits extremely well at HODGETOWN, hitting at a .364 clip in 21 games with hits in 17 of them. Only Ryan Bliss played in more games this year at home with a higher AVG, hitting .407 in 32 games at HODGETOWN.

LEFT AINT RIGHT: Amarillo left a franchise-high 15 runners on base in the loss on Wednesday night. The club had previously left 14 men aboard twice in 2023, and five times in the team's history dating back to the 2019 season. Amarillo finished the game 2-for-10 with RISP, including leaving the bases loaded twice. Still, Amarillo ranks third in all of Double-A when hitting with RISP on the year, hitting at a .273 clip in 122 games. Midland leads the way in that category, hitting .284 in 121 games after going 5-for-16 (.313) on Wednesday.