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Pfaadt Shines As Soddies Blank Travs

Pfaadt Fires Seven Scoreless, Strikes Out Season-High Nine
(John Moore)
May 25, 2022

North Little Rock, AR – The Sod Poodles opened their six-game set against the Arkansas Travelers with a 2-0 shutout win on Wednesday night. The Sod Poodles were led by RHP Brandon Pfaadt (2-3) who tossed the best game of his season so far against the Seattle Mariners Double-A affiliate

North Little Rock, AR – The Sod Poodles opened their six-game set against the Arkansas Travelers with a 2-0 shutout win on Wednesday night. The Sod Poodles were led by RHP Brandon Pfaadt (2-3) who tossed the best game of his season so far against the Seattle Mariners Double-A affiliate at Dickey-Stephens Park.

D-backs' No. 9 rated prospect Brandon Pfaadt toed the rubber for his eighth start of the year for the Sod Poodles. The right-hander surrendered a single to the leadoff man in the Travs lineup and then retired the next three via strikeout. Arkansas starter Taylor Dollard made quick work his first go-round with the Sod Poodles lineup, retiring the first six he faced. Pfaadt racked up another two strikeouts in the bottom of the second inning, giving him five through his first two innings of work.

The Sod Poodles tallied their first hit of the game in the top of the fourth inning. D-backs' No. 2 rated prospect Corbin Carroll sent a gap shot over the head of the right-fielder for his fourth triple of the season and later scored on Eduardo Diaz' RBI single to break the scoreless contest.

Pfaadt continued to retire Travs hitters, striking out three more of his next two innings of work, matching what was his season-high in strikeouts after facing just 14 batters. The Soddies saw a couple of batters reach base but couldn't push any runs across as the game would remain a one-run ballgame following a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 5th by Pfaadt. The right-hander and Sod Poodles' ace kept it rolling in the bottom of the sixth, working around just his third hit surrendered to keep the 1-0 lead intact with six scoreless innings.

Ti'Quan Forbes notched his sixth double of the year with one out in the top of the 7th and was just the fourth total hit of the ballgame up to that point. Forbes was left stranded following a comebacker that Dollard was able to knock down at the mound and a Blaze Alexander ground out.

Pfaadt marched on with another solid inning of work, pitching around his fourth hit of the game, and first extra-base hit with a two-out double in the seventh. For Pfaadt, he set a new season-high for strikeouts in a game with nine and also set a new team-high for innings pitched by a starter.

Left-hander Junior Garcia relieved Pfaadt in the bottom of the eighth and gave up a leadoff single before retiring the next three in a row to move the game into the top of the ninth. Leandro Cedeno drew a leadoff walk and was then pinch ran for by Sod Poodles skipper Shawn Roof. A strikeout and stolen base put a runner into scoring position ahead of Juan Centeno. The veteran catcher moved the potential runner even closer to home as Dairon Cuevas was able to tag up from second on a deep fly ball into foul territory in right field. Blaze Alexander delivered the insurance run with a two-out RBI single to make it a two-run lead for Amarillo.

Right-hander Blake Rogers took the mound in the top of the ninth and retired the first two he faced. The Travs picked up a single in the bottom of the ninth but were unable to do anything with it as a fast-working Rogers quickly induced a ground out to end the game and secure the first Sod Poodles' shutout of the year.

The Sod Poodles' first trip to Dickey-Stephens Park since 2019 continues with a doubleheader on Thursday. The two teams will make up the lost game from Tuesday in a pair of seven-inning contests. LHP Blake Walston (0-1, 13.06 ERA) will get the ball in game one for Amarillo with both teams using a bullpen game for the second game. Walston is the D-backs' No. 4 rated prospect and top-ranked pitching prospect in the farm system.

Notes:

Go Little Rock Star: The D-backs' No. 9 rated prospect came out firing in his eighth start of the year. The former 5th-round pick in 2020 entered the game atop the D-backs' farm system in strikeouts and tied for third-most in the Texas League. The hard-throwing right-hander retired five of the first seven he faced with strikeouts as he worked around two singles in each of the first two innings to keep the Travs off the board. Pfaadt ended the day with 9 strikeouts and now has a sizable lead in the farm system, 11 more than the next closest D-backs' minor leaguer, Ryne Nelson at the end of Wednesday's action in North Little Rock. His nine punchouts set a new season-high in 2022 as well as his 7.0 IP. By going seven innings, he set the new high for any Amarillo starter so far this year and recorded his second quality start of the year. Through his first 30 professional games, Pfaadt has racked up 214 strikeouts and a 11.1 K/9 ratio.

Shut It Down: The Sod Poodles trio of Pfaadt, LHP Junior Garcia, and Blake Rogers combined to toss the first shutout of the year for Amarillo and first since September 15, 2021 against Frisco. It marked the seventh shutout as a team since 2021 since becoming a D-backs' affiliate. Pfaafdt tossed the amazing seven innings while Garcia and Rogers each pitched in with an inning of work

Corbin Barrels: Corbin notched extra-base hit 23 on the year with his leadoff triple in the top of the fourth inning. His 23 XBH lead the team, are tied for the most in the D-backs' system, tied for the third-most in Texas League, T-4th in all Double-A, and T-8th in all minor league baseball at the time the Sod Poodles game was over. The 22-year-old is absolutely raking through his first 35 Double-A games. Carroll is slashing .326/.457/.696 with 12 home runs, seven doubles, four triples, and has 25 RBI.

GUZing Confidence: With a single in the top of the 8th inning, Jeison Guzman has now notched a hit in all five games he has played in so far for Amarillo. The D-backs' No. 23 rated prospect was reinstated from the IL when OF Dominic Fletcher was promoted to Triple-A Reno. In his first five games, Guzman is hitting .333 (6-for-18) with two doubles.

Time Travelers: The two-hour and 13-minute ballgame was the fastest nine-inning game the Soddies have played this year and were two minutes shy of becoming the fastest nine-inning game in team history (2:11 vs Frisco on June 1, 2021)

Scorbin Carroll: Aside from hitting the ball...hard, Corbin Carroll has now scored a run in 13 straight games played dating back to May 7th. The 13 games are the longest active streak in the minors and have tied the longest such streak in the minors this year (Miguel Vargas, OKC Dodgers). Carroll has scored more runs (23) than anyone else in MiLB over a certain span in 2022.

Soddies Doin Some Swipin': Amarillo has now stolen a base in three straight games and stole their 52nd bag of the year and tied their season-high with four stolen bases for the game. The 52 stolen bags are the fourth most in the Texas League this year although the San Antonio Missions would be doing 25-to-life if ever caught with their 70 stolen bases. The rest of the league can only hope to try and not let the Missions continue to run rampant over the rest of the league. Northwest Arkansas and Wichita entered Wednesday's action tied for second with 58 stolen bases.