Amarillo’s Alek Thomas (5) runs towards third base in the first inning against Midland Sunday at Momentum Bank Ballpark. [Michael Bauer/ For Press Pass Sports]
By Lee Passmore
It seemed all but assured for most of Sunday afternoon that the Amarillo Sod Poodles were going to carry some momentum from their series finale in Midland into a 12-game homestand starting Tuesday evening at Hodgetown.
But the Sod Poodles couldn’t hold a 10-run lead for six outs and wasted some strong efforts at the plate and on the mound to suffer their second straight road series defeat.
The RockHounds tied the Sod Poodles with 10 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game which eventually went into extra innings. Midland then won 11-10 with a run in the bottom of the 10th at the aptly named Momentum Bank Ballpark to deny the Soddies a series split before returning home Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. to host the Frisco RoughRiders.
For 7 ½ innings the Sod Poodles (28-37) were cruising along as they took a 10-0 lead in the top of the eighth. Buddy Kennedy capped the inning with his second home run of the game, a two-run shot.
Ryne Nelson threw six shutout innings to start the game for the Soddies, allowing only two hits and striking out eight. But the bullpen imploded in the eighth.
Reliever Shumpei Yoshikawa, making his Sod Poodles debut, gave up three straight hits, including a double by Kyle McCann along with a wild pitch to cut it to 10-4. Blake Workman relieved then gave up a three-run homer to Colin Theroux to cut it to 10-7 and a two-run double to J.J. Schwarz to tie it 10-10.
In the bottom of the 10th, Mickey McDonald drove home the winning run for Midland with two outs.
That was a far cry from the way the Sod Poodles ended their series at San Antonio a week earlier. Matt Tabor threw a seven-inning no-hitter in a 6-0 victory for the first no-hitter in franchise history.
Former Texas Tech standout and Frisco’s Josh Jung is the Texas Rangers top-rated prospect. [Frisco RoughRiders social media]
In a matchup of opposites, the Sod Poodles, who sit in last place in the Double-A Central South division, will host division leader Frisco (39-27), who leads Amarillo by 10 ½ games and has the league’s best record. The RoughRiders have one player who should be familiar to local college baseball fans in third baseman Josh Jung, a Texas Tech product who was called up on June 15, and is hitting .290 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 25 games. Jung is rated as the Texas Rangers top prospect.