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Centeno Walks Off Travs In Game Two

(John Moore)
September 8, 2022

Amarillo, Texas - The Sod Poodles evened their series against the Arkansas Travelers (Double-A, Seattle) on Wednesday night. Wearing their Pointy Boots de Amarillo jerseys, Amarillo clawed their way back from a 5-run deficit to take down the Travs in extra innings. Arkansas jumped out to a three-run lead with

Amarillo, Texas - The Sod Poodles evened their series against the Arkansas Travelers (Double-A, Seattle) on Wednesday night. Wearing their Pointy Boots de Amarillo jerseys, Amarillo clawed their way back from a 5-run deficit to take down the Travs in extra innings.

Arkansas jumped out to a three-run lead with the help of five hits in the first inning. A two-run home run capped the scoring for the Travs who have now scored eight runs in the first inning of the two games to start the series. Jake Scheiner collected his second two-run home run of the game when he homered again in the top of the third inning.

Blaze Alexander put Amarillo on the board and cut the deficit to three runs. After loading the bases with two outs, Alexander singled into right field, allowing Jorge Barrosa and Jordan Lawlar to cross the plate. Juan Centeno cut the Travs lead to just two runs with a leadoff solo home run in the bottom of the fourth.

Centeno's home run marked the 13th of his season. The Sod Poodles continued to chip away with Alexander collecting his third RBI of the game with a leadoff home run of his own in the bottom of the sixth inning. Tim Tawa put himself in scoring position as the potential tying run with a ground rules double over the short wall in right-center field. A groundout ended any hope of Amarillo at least tying the game in the inning.

Down by a run, left-hander Mack Lemieux took over on the mound. Lemieux was the third pitcher used by the Sod Poodles after Jamison Hill gave Amarillo 4.0 IP with five earned runs coming around after scattering seven hits. Fellow southpaw Kenny Hernandez struck out two over a pair of scoreless innings after surrendering three hits. Lemieux worked a clean top of the seventh, striking out two. The first two Sod Poodles of the inning were retired, sending Roby Enriquez to the plate.

Enriquez smashed a 2-2 pitch to the right-field berm and knotted the game at five a side. Lemieux returned to the mound for another scoreless inning in the eighth. He worked around a leadoff single with his third strikeout of the game.

Following a pair of outs, Tawa doubled again but was left stranded once again as the game would move to the ninth inning. The third straight left-handed relief pitcher came into the game for the Sod Poodles as Kyle Backhus took over pitching duties. He struck out one in a 1-2-3 top of the ninth. An Amarillo two-out single and stolen base was for naught as the hopes of ending the game in regulation came to an end with a strikeout.

Going to extra-innings, Backhus remained in the game on the bump. A quick flyout and popout were followed by a five-pitch walk to put two Travs aboard. The lefty responded by striking out Cade Marlowe to send the game to the bottom of the 10th.

Helped by having the runner start on second base, a passed ball allowed Deyvison De Los Santos to advance to third and just 90 ft away from home plate as the winning run. The second out of the inning came via a foul tip strikeout and sent the veteran, Juan Centeno to the plate.

In heroic fashion, Centeno drove in De Los Santos with a sharply hit line drive down the right field line on the second pitch of his at-bat. The walk-off win was the fifth walk-off victory of the year for Amarillo and the first since taking the opening game of last week's series against Frisco.

Jolting back from five runs down after the third inning. Amarillo evened the series with the Travelers at one game a piece. Game three is set for Thursday, September 8 with RHP Bryce Jarvis (3-5, 8.09 ERA) set to square off against RHP Stephen Kolek (5-13, 4.82 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 for the last Thirsty Thursday of the 2022 season at HODGETOWN.


Blazing: INF Blaze Alexander continues to swing a hot bat after a 2-for-5 day with three RBI including a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Blaze is hitting .352 in his last 20 games and has 23 RBI with 13 extra-base hits. His multi-hit performance tonight marked his 24th of the season and his 12th multi-RBI game. His season average is up to .306 with 16 home runs and 49 RBI with 15 doubles and three triples.

Right Field Roby: Roby Enriquez' 7th inning solo shot to right field tied the game at 5-5 and was his 7th home run of the season with Amarillo. Six of his seven home runs have come right here at HODGETOWN. His only home run away from HODGETOWN was his first Double-A home run back on May 27 at Dickey Stephens Ballpark against these Arkansas Travelers. Five of his seven home runs have left the yard on the southpaw's pull-side going out to right field. He hit one straightaway center off the batter's eye and another out to left field for his only opposite-field home run in 2022 with Amarillo.

Cause The Law Said So: Jordan Lawlar is getting more and more comfortable in Double-A, collecting a pair of hits in a 2-for-5 day at the plate with a run scored. Wednesday marked his fourth Double-A multi-hit game in 12 games since joining the team on August 23. The Arizona Diamondbacks No. 3 rated prospect (13th overall in baseball) is hitting .312 in 92 games in his first full professional season across four minor league levels. He has 15 home runs, 17 doubles, seven triples, 56 RBI, and 51 walks in 359 at-bats after being selected 6th overall in the 2021 MLB draft.

Centy Doing Plenty: Juan Centeno filled the stat sheet on Wednesday night leading the Sod Poodles to a win. He started his night throwing out a pair of base stealers in the top of the first inning. They were his 22nd and 23rd caught stealing for Amarillo this season. He hit his 13th home run of the season in the 4th inning and sealed the win with his two-out walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th. It was Ceteno's second walk-off-winner winner for Amarillo. He singled in the bottom of the 9th back on July 12 against San Antonio as the Sod Poodles won that game 6-5. His 2-for-5 night brings him to .310 in Double-A in 2022, good for the second-best AVG among all active Sod Poodles players.

Back On Track: LHP Kyle Backhus was dominant once again out of the Sod Poodles bullpen. He spun two hitless innings of work en route to collecting his first Double-A win. Tonight's performance came after a rough couple of outings for the Texas native. After not allowing a run in any of his first five Double-A appearances (7.0 IP), he had surrendered eight runs (7 earned) in his previous two outings (1.1 IP). He had walked five and hit three batters in those games but walked just one tonight and struck out two, including a strikeout to end the top of the 10th with two Travelers on base.

Winner, Winner, Walk Off Dinner: Wednesday was the 5th walk-off win for Amarillo this season as the team is now 5-6 in walk-off contests in 2022. Centeno is the first player with two walk-off winners for the Sod Poodles this season.

King of the Hill: RHP Jamison Hill tossed 4.0 IP and allowed five runs - all earned - on seven hits with two walks as Amarillo's starter Wednesday. Hill did not collect a strikeout for the first time this season in 25 games (23 starts) across three levels. For the season, Hill is 7-8 with a 4.83 ERA. His seven wins are T-4th in the Diamondbacks' minor leagues this year while his 120 strikeouts rank 6th most. His .234 BAA is second best among qualifying pitchers in the organization.

Tawa Seeing Double:Tim Tawa went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, his 6th and 7th doubles in Double-A.

Playoff Push: The Sod Poodles still sit 4.0 GB of Frisco in the second half of the Texas League South race. Frisco notched an 11-0 shutout win over Tulsa to keep their ground as Amarillo came back to win over Arkansas. Midland sits 1.0 GB behind Frisco after sweeping their Wednesday doubleheader over the Corpus Christi Hooks and is on a three-game win streak.