The Sod Poodles were victorious in walk-off fashion Wednesday afternoon defeating the Drillers 9-8 in front of 5,328 at HODGETOWN. On a 1-0 count in the bottom of the ninth inning, outfielder Buddy Reed hit a solo home run over the right-field wall to mark the Sod Poodles 70th win of their inaugural season. The Sod Poodles remain in first place in the Texas League second-half South Division standings and currently hold a magic number of five, pending tonight's game between Midland and Northwest Arkansas.
The Drillers took the early 1-0 lead in the first inning of the contest. Drew Avans began with a bunt single down the third-base line to lead off the ballgame. Jeter Downs followed the base path after he was hit by a pitch to make it a quick first and second situation for starter Lake Bachar. After Avans was caught stealing third base to mark the first out of the inning, sending Downs to second, Chris Parmelee doubled to left-center field to plate the first run.
In the top of the third inning, the Drillers extended their lead, plating four runs on four hits. Avans started the inning off with a single and then stole second. Downs powered up with a two-run home run to left field while Parmelee followed with a solo home run to left field. After a Connor Wong grounded out, Cody Thomas hit the third home run of the half to give Tulsa a 5-0 advantage.
Amarillo answered back in the bottom of the third inning in big fashion scoring six runs to take a 6-5 lead. Ruddy Giron started the inning off with a double to right-center field and advanced to third base on Reed's sacrifice bunt. Bachar added a single up the middle to score Giron and help his cause. Two more singles by Tyler Benson and Hudson Potts loaded the bases for the Soddies. With the bases loaded, Edward Olivares hit a sacrifice fly to deep left field to cross Bachar while advancing the other two runners up a base. Benson scored the second run on a wild pitch before Owen Miller knocked an RBI double to left-center field. Catcher Kyle Overstreet capped off the frame with his crushed two-run home run to left-center field.
After a scoreless fourth, Tulsa tied the ballgame in the fifth inning when Thomas lined an RBI triple with a runner on to make it a 6-6 contest.
Soddies starter Bachar would exit after a strong five innings with five strikeouts and only two walks allowed. Bachar allowed six runs on eight hits picking up the no-decision in his 19th start of the season.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Drillers retook the lead courtesy of a pair of solo home runs from pitcher Parker Curry and Downs to give Tulsa an 8-6 advantage. But, in the bottom half, the Sod Poodles responded with a pair of home runs of their own in back-to-back fashion by Brad Zunica and Ruddy Giron to knot the ballgame up at 8-8.
Amarillo relievers, newcomer Sam Williams and closer David Bednar, held the Drillers scoreless in the last three innings, striking out four combined batters with just two combined hits allowed. Bednar, after a bulldog performance in the top of the ninth to strand the bases loaded, collected his second win of the season.
Outfielder Reed stepped up as the first batter of the bottom of the ninth inning and, on the second pitch he saw, he towered a solo home run just over the outstretched glove of right fielder Donovan Casey to give the Sod Poodles a 9-8 victory over the Drillers.
The Sod Poodles wrap up their four-game series against the Tulsa Drillers Thursday night at HODGETOWN with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
-Amarillo Sod Poodles