[Graphic courtesy of the Amarillo Sod Poodles]
Pride is more than on the line when the Amarillo Sod Squad and Sod Dogs square off in a key six-game series beginning Tuesday night in what’s billed as the “Hodgetown Showdown”.
The Sod Dogs will be the home team for the first three games of the of series, while the script flips giving the Sod Squad the home dugout for the last three games Friday through Sunday.
This is more than just a battle for Amarillo supremacy. Entering the third week of the Texas Collegiate League both the Sod Dogs and Sod Squad are tied atop the TCL North standings at 11-7 overall with the Tulsa Drillers.
Though the Sod Squad didn’t play six games against Frisco due to COVID-19 concerns, the league awarded the Sod Squad four of the six wins.
Amarillo High graduates, Rhett Maynard, from left, and Max Marusak highlight local talent for the Sod Dogs and Sod Squad. [Photos by Tom Carver & Ben Jenkins]
Amarillo High graduates Max Marusak of the Sod Squad and Rhett Maynard of the Sod Dogs are having solid summers. Marusak, who plays his college baseball at Texas Tech, is hitting .250 in 10 games with nine RBIs and nine runs scored.
Maynard, who plays at TCU has struggled at times batting .214 but has shown pop at the plate with three home runs with nine RBIs.
There is plenty of talent on both Amarillo rosters that fans have been able to enjoy through the first three weeks.
At the plate, twin brothers Julio and David Marcano have given the Sod Squad a much needed lift in the lineup. Julio is hitting an impressive .326 with four homers to with 16 RBIs while David is batting .300 with seven RBIs and 10 runs scored.
On the mound, the hard-throwing Tyler Myrick has been dominant. In 10 innings pitched, the Florida International junior has an ERA of 0.90, racking up racking up nine strikeouts.
The middle of the lineup made up of Eduardo Acosta, Mathew Garcia, Enrique Porchas and Kurtis Byrne are as deadly as any team in the TCL. Combined, Acosta, Garcia, Porchas and Byrne are hitting over .350, with a total of 60 RBIs and eight homer runs. Garcia, a Lubbock Christian sophomore has driven in 21 runs on top of batting .372. Porchas has 20 RBIs with a .339 average.
The pitching has also been a strength for the Sod Dogs. Starter Mathew Orozco (2-0) leads the team with 14.2 innings pitched in four starts, racking up 17 strikeouts with a 1.84 ERA.
Not to be outdone isJordan Eglite has a 2.00 ERA in 11.2 inning pitched, totaling 12 K’s.
All games at Hodgetown
Tuesday: Sod Squad vs. Sod Dogs, 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday: Sod Squad vs. Sod Dogs, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday: Sod Squad vs. Sod Dogs, 7:05 p.m.
Friday: Sod Dogs vs. Sod Squad, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday: Sod Dogs vs. Sod Squad, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday: Sod Dogs vs. Sod Squad, 6:05 p.m.