Corpus Christi, Texas (May 4, 2023) – A game that saw just two combined hits through the top of the sixth inning went in the favor of the Corpus Christi Hooks on Thursday night. Two early runs coupled with some late insurance proved too much for Amarillo to overcome, falling
Corpus Christi, Texas (May 4, 2023) – A game that saw just two combined hits through the top of the sixth inning went in the favor of the Corpus Christi Hooks on Thursday night. Two early runs coupled with some late insurance proved too much for Amarillo to overcome, falling 6-1 to the Houston Astros Double-A Affiliate.
The Hooks jumped out early, scoring two in the bottom of the first inning. An early walk issued by Sod Poodles starter Chad Patrick was brought around with a two-run home run by the very next Corpus batter. Amarillo was unable to muster a baserunner through their first two plate appearances of the evening.
A couple of lazy fly-outs and a caught stealing from Adrian Del Castillo behind the dish helped Patrick work around a leadoff walk in the second inning. It was another quick inning with the bats in hand for Amarillo in the third as Hooks starter Colton Gordon worked yet another 1-2-3 frame.
Patrick spun his second consecutive clean frame, retiring the side in order in the bottom of the third. The right-hander added a pair of strikeouts to end the home half and then carried it over into the bottom of the fourth where he struck out the side in order.
Del Castillo became the first baserunner of the game for Amarillo when he drew a two-out walk in the top of the fifth inning. After swiping second base, the Amarillo backstop would be left stranded in scoring position as Jonathan Guzman grounded out to the shortstop, keeping the Sod Poodles scoreless off Gordon and the Hooks.
Right-hander Blake Workman picked up right where Patrick ended as he was brought on as the first man of relief. Workman struck out a pair and didn't allow a baserunner, the third straight inning doing so by Amarillo pitching. Following a leadoff walk by Neyfy Castillo in the top of the 6th, Ryan Bliss collected the first Sod Poodles hit of the night. The newly appointed Texas League Player of the Month for April placed a single into shallow left field and pushed Castillo over to third with one out. With Jordan Lawlar at the plate, a disengagement violation was called, resulting in a balk, and scoring Castillo from third, the first Sod Poodles run of the game.
The bottom of the sixth inning brought an end to the run of 11 straight Hooks batters retired by Amarillo pitching. A leadoff home run pushed the Corpus lead back to two runs and the second solo homer of the inning made it a 4-1 game.
Amarillo threatened to get it all back in the top of the seventh after seeing the first three batters all reach base. However, a strikeout and double play with the bases loaded prevented Amarillo from chipping away at the deficit. The missed opportunity proved more harmful as the Hooks tacked on another two runs in their portion of the seventh to make it 6-1.
Just two more baserunners were able to reach base for the Sod Poodles over the final two innings, and neither made it safely to second base.
The Sod Poodles will look to bounce back once again and knot the series at two games apiece when they retake the field for a Friday night tilt in South Texas. First pitch for game four is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Whataburger Field. RHP Deyni Olivero will get the ball for the Soddies and will be in search of his second win of the season.
PATRICK K-AYZE: Sod Poodles starter Chad Patrick set his season-high with seven strikeouts on Thursday night. After a long opening frame that saw him toss 29 pitches, he settled into a groove. Following a leadoff walk in the second, Patrick retired the next eight batters he faced, including five straight strikeouts to end his night. His seven total strikeouts were the most this season, and the most since he struck out nine on 8/31/22. In that game, he set his career-high for strikeouts against Tri-City when he was with High-A Hillsboro. His seven-strikeout night against the Hooks is now tied for the third-best strikeout performance of his young career.
THERE IS RYAN IN BASEBALL: INF Ryan Bliss recorded another hit, one of two Sod Poodles to collect a hit on Thursday. Bliss has a hit in 19-of-21 games played this season and leads Double-A with his .383 AVG. His 36 hits are still the best in Double-A while he added a base, and currently sits 6th across all Double-A players with 54 total bags.
LET EM OFF THE HOOK: Despite leaving four runners stranded, Amarillo currently ranks fifth in Double-A when hitting with runners on base. The Sod Poodles' .267 AVG with runners on is fourth in the Texas League with only Richmond (SF) having more success outside of the league.
EXTRA DAMAGE: All five of the Hooks hits on Thursday were of the extra base hit variety. Two doubles and three home runs accounted for all six RBI.