Ivan Castillo in action for the Sod Poodles. Photo: Eddie Kelly.

Sod Poodles 7 Midland RockHounds 5

(Sod Poodles win series 3-2)

Key Stats: CF Taylor Trammell 2-for-3, 2B, BB; SS Ivan Castillo 1-for-5, HR (1); 1B Kyle Overstreet 1-for-4, 2B; LHP Aaron Leasher 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 K, 0BB; RHP Jordan Guerrero 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K, 1 BB; LHP Travis Radke (S, 1) 1 IP, 0 H, 0R, 1 K, 0BB

Prospect Watch: After dropping the first two games of the series at home, the Sod Poodles roared back to win three straight at Midland and claim the South Division championship. Just as the Padres’ Texas League affiliate Missions did last year, Amarillo will play Tulsa for the league title in a best-of-five series starting Tuesday. … All the club’s offense came in the second inning when the first seven batters all reached and scored. Kyle Overstreet yanked a bases-clearing double to get the Soddies on the board then came around on a Buddy Reed single. Ivan Castillo put the game on ice with a three-run blast over the right-center wall on the first pitch he saw from lefty reliever Tyler Alexander. The switch-hitting middle infielder posted a .901 OPS from the right side during the regular season. After fading a bit down the stretch, Castillo went 7-for-20 in the series. … Taylor Trammell was back on base four more times Sunday, collecting a pair of hits and a walk, and reaching on an error. The outfielder, who turns 22 next week, was the only Amarillo batter to collect multiple hits on the day. … While Midland pushed a runner to third base twice in the first four innings, lefty Aaron Leasher did a nice job of escaping both threats in his second outing since joining Amarillo. But things came apart for the Padres’ 2017 sixth-round pick in the fifth inning as the RockHounds opened the frame with three straight singles. Leasher ultimately gave up a double and a walk before giving way and was charged with four runs on the day. The 23-year-old posted a 3.15 ERA across 120 innings for the Storm this year and has put himself in line for a rotation spot in Amarillo to open the 2020 season. … Big righty Jordan Guerrero picked up the win with two hitless frames of relief. The hard-throwing reliever held Cal League opponents to a .202 average this year while posting a 57:19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 52.2 innings. As a 2015 draftee, the Florida native will be Rule 5 eligible this winter. … Travis Radke had only two save opportunities in his 49 appearances across three levels this season. But Phillip Wellman turned to the 26-year-old for the final frame and Radke made quick work of Midland to protect the victory. The lefty with the big over-the-top delivery posted a 2.64 ERA and struck out more than a batter per inning in 2019. He tossed three scoreless frames in the series.

Dust Devils 9 Hillsboro Hops 1

(Best of five series tied 1-1)

Key Stats: C Jonny Homza 1-for-4, HR (1), 4 RBI; PR/CF Tre Carter 1-for-2, HR; SS Jordy Barley 1-for-3, 2 BB; RF Logan Driscoll 1-for-3, 2 BB; RHP Connor Lehmann 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 3 BB; RHP Jason Reynolds 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K, 1 BB; RHP Sam Keating 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB

Jonny Homza bats for Tri-City Dust Devils

Johnny Homza came through with his biggest hit of the year on Sunday as Tri-City pulled even in the Northwest League championship series. (Photo: Mike Wilson)

Prospect Watch: The Dust Devils jumped out to a six run lead in the first inning and never looked back as they cruised to a 9-1 win. After a leadoff single by Reinaldo Ilarraza, Tri-City drew three walks and a hit batter before Jonny Homza hit the knockout blow with a grand slam to left on a full-count pitch. The Anchorage, Alaska, native hadn’t connected on a homer all season. The 20-year-old Homza has been given a tall order since the Padres drafted him in the fifth round, converting to catcher at the same time he has faced high-level competition for the first time in his life. After two full years in the AZL, Homza posted a 615 OPS for Tri-City this year. … After Matt Acosta got hit in the head by a pitch and had to exit in the fourth, Tre Carter came on. An inning later, the left-handed hitting outfielder turned on an 0-2 pitch for a two-run homer to cap the scoring. Carter, now 22, saw his production drop for a second consecutive year repeating in the Northwest League this season. … As they have throughout the season, the Dust Devils cobbled together enough strong innings from pitchers drafted out of college this June to get the victory. Connor Lehmann, the big righty drafted out of Saint Louis, continued his run of two inning outings, allowing just one run. The 23-year-old has had his control fade a bit down the stretch, walking three Sunday and eight over his last 12.1 innings. … Fellow New Jersey native Jason Reynolds worked a season-high four innings out of the pen, allowing just one baserunner on a walk. The Lehigh University product struck out 28 in 25 regular season innings for the Dust Devils, but also issued 20 free passes and hit five. … Stretching out beyond two innings for the first time since his demotion from Fort Wayne, Sam Keating tossed three scoreless frames to pick up the blowout save. The Padres’ fourth-rounder in 2017 got hit hard at two levels this year, allowing a .318 average. The Floridian also managed to hit 16 batters and walk 29 in 69.1 innings.

Posted by David Jay

David has written for MadFriars since 2005, has published articles in Baseball America, written a monthly column for FoxSports San Diego and appeared on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He may be best known on the island of Guam for his photos of Trae Santos that appeared in the Pacific Daily News.

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