Amarillo Sod Poodles outfielder Jake McCarthy had three hits in his first three at-bats to lead Amarillo past Corpus Christi 19-4 on Wednesday night at Hodgetown. [John Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
It was a night to remember for Amarillo Sod Poodles outfielder Jake McCarthy.
The Sod Poodles set a club record piling up 19 runs, tying a franchise mark for hits with 20 during a dominating 19-4 victory against the Corpus Christi Hooks at Hodgetown on Wednesday night much to the enjoyment of the 4,872 in attendance.
McCarthy’s career outing set the tone as the centerfielder came one hit shy of the cycle going 3-for-6 with an RBI double, a 2-run triple, adding a 3-run homer, totaling five RBIs on the night.
“I really just wanted to come out and put up some good at-bats,” said McCarthy, who leads the team with six homers this season. “It’s all about staying competitive and the game will dictate itself.”
By the first three innings the cycle looked like a lock for McCarthy after accomplishing a double, the triple, and 3-run shot by the third inning as Amarillo took an eye-opening 15-1 lead. However, McCarthy’s bid for the first ever cycle in team history came up shy as he just missed legging out an infield single attempt in the fourth, then went down on strikes in each of his last two plate appearances.
“I’d be lying if I said the cycle wasn’t in the back of my mind,” McCarthy said. “My teammates were wanting to see it, and letting me know about it in the dugout, but I just want to keep putting together good at-bats.”
The experience of playing Division I baseball is paying off, and McCarthy is taking advantage of the Double A game by the day.
After playing at the University of Virginia, followed by being drafted in the first round by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2018, McCarthy has fought many battles in his career. Whether it be due to injury, or the Covid-19 pandemic to everyday challenges, he still proves to be a force at the plate and on the field.
“A month into the season is where you start to feel good,” said McCarthy, the Diamondbacks No. 30 rated prospect. “I’m about 100 at-bats in so you really start to feel comfortable. Obviously as you climb the ladder pitching gets much better so you have to stay competitive. After missing last year, and dealing with injuries in 2019, I’m just thankful to be out here.”
Sod Poodles manager Shawn Roof has also taken notice in McCarthy’s recent consistency at the dish.
“Jake is doing a really good job of letting pitches come more into the zone,” Roof said. “When he does that he hits it hard and you see him coming along. He was chasing early, but now he’s letting pitches come to him.”
McCarthy wasn’t the only player hammering Corpus Christi pitching Wednesday night. Teammate and Amarillo left fielder Stone Garrett came a triple away himself from the cycle going 4-for-5 that included a pair of doubles and his fifth homer of the year.
“In the first month these guys are just trying to get their feet wet,” Roof said. “They’re starting to put together some really good at-bats, and it is very fun to watch them.”
The Amarillo Sod Poodles (14-18) continue their series with Corpus Christi (14-17) at 7:05 p.m., Thursday night at Hodgetown.