The Sod Poodles split their final regular-season series with the Arkansas Travelers with a 6-5 victory in front of 5,875 at HODGETOWN. Tyler Benson led the Sod Poodles offensively batting 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs, and an RBI. Nick Kuzia earned the win for the Sod Poodles as he tossed three innings out of the bullpen. Kuzia allowed one run on two hits and struck out two Arkansas batters over 29 pitches. The Sod Poodles begin their inaugural Texas League Playoff run in the South Division series Wednesday against the Double-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, the Midland RockHounds, at HODGETOWN.
In the first inning, Arkansas jumped out to an early lead when Cal Raleigh hit a home run to right field to take a 1-0 lead. Amarillo responded quickly in the bottom of the inning scoring two runs on three hits. A pair of singles by Owen Miller and Kyle Overstreet started the inning for the Soddies. Brad Zunica followed with a two-RBI single to right field to put the Sod Poodles up 2-1.
Amarillo tacked one run in the second inning to extend their lead to 3-1 over the Travelers. Benson leadoff the inning with a bunt single down the left-field line and stole second base. Benson came around to score on a Taylor Trammell double to center field to straightaway center field.
The Sod Poodles stretched their lead to 4-1 in the third inning. Miller singled up the middle to lead off the inning followed by a walk to Overstreet. Benson then hit an RBI single to right-center field which scored Miller. The inning came to an end when A.J. Kennedy flew out to center field.
Arkansas outfielder Jarred Kelenic hit a solo home run to center field to cut the Sod Poodles lead to 4-2 in the sixth inning.
In the seventh inning, Amarillo plated one run on one hit. Trammell leadoff the inning with a triple to right-center gap and came around to score on a wild pitch by Arkansas reliever Bernie Martinez which pushed the Sod Poodles lead to 5-2.
The Sod Poodles added an insurance run in the eighth inning via a Benson home run to left field to make the score 6-2.
Arkansas looked to mount another ninth-inning rally for the second time in as many days. Nick Zammarelli singled to right field to open the inning for the Travelers. Ahmed then worked a walk to place runners on second and first base. One batter later, Dom Thompson-Williams hit an RBI double to left field. Logan Taylor grounded out to allow Ahmed to score. Following a Nick Thurman strikeout, Jordan Cowan hit an RBI single to center field. Kelenic then stepped to the plate representing the go-ahead run for the Travelers. On the first pitch, Kelenic lasered a line drive to right field that was caught by a diving Buddy Reed to secure the 6-5 win for the Sod Poodles in the regular-season finale.
The Sod Poodles begin the Divisional series of the Texas League playoffs Wednesday at HODGETOWN against the Midland RockHounds. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
-Amarillo Sod Poodles