Hudson Potts hits a walkout home run against the Springfield Cardinals. [Photo by John Moore/Amarillo Sod Poodles]

AMARILLO, Texas — Thursday, the Amarillo Sod Poodles claimed the first shutout in their short history. Friday, third baseman Hudson Potts hit a towering drive to right-center with two outs in the eleventh inning with the Sod Poodles down 5-4 for the team’s first walk-off home run.

Potts was 3-5 on the night with a walk.[Photo by John Moore/Amarillo Sod Poodles]

“It definitely felt good and it was just a fun game,” said a smiling Potts, who was 3-for-5 with a walk after a tough April.  “ I have been just trying to stick with my approach and keep working.”

Amarillo took a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning after a solid start from right-hander T.J. Weir, who also pitched in with a double off of the left field wall. But a leadoff double and an infield single off of reliever Travis Radke put runners on the corners with no outs.  

Sod Poodles shortstop Owen Miller then made the defensive play of the series.  On a ball hit sharply to his right, Miller was able to stab for the ball and throw an off-balance strike to home to nail the runner attempting to score from third base.

“An incredible play,” said Sod Poodles manager Phillip Wellman.  “Not only was it an athletic play, but he made the right read and [Webster Rivas] made a great tag at the plate.”

Radke came back and struck out the next batter and was then replaced by Kazuhisa Makita, who gave up a single, but was spared further damage when the batter was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

Makita pitched the tenth and gave up another run in the eleventh before Pott’s game-winning home run.

Sod Poodles Notes: Andres Muñoz threw two innings for the first time since 2017, continuing to sit 98-101 mph velocity throughout; which is part of the Padres plan to get him used to throwing more than one inning bursts.

“If he goes to the big leagues Andy Green isn’t just going to use him for one inning.  He needs to get used to coming in from the pen, get three outs, sit down for a while and then go back out there.

“He hasn’t done that, and there is something to that. His fastball command and slider were good too tonight.”

Muñoz also got his first hit and RBI in his first plate appearance of his career with two outs to break a 3-3 tie.

Nate Easley was sent to Lake Elsinore before the game and infielder Ivan Castillo was sent from Extended Spring to Amarillo and went 2-5 with a stolen base.  Castillo is still another player that the Padres signed as a minor league free agent in the winter that had previously played in the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization.  Last year Castillo, 23, posted a slash line of .304/.345/.448 in the High-A Florida State League playing second, third, short and left field.

Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

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