Amarillo Sod Poodles dominate Northwest Arkansas on the road for first series win


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FILE- Tim Tawa of the Amarillo Sod Poodles bats during a game against Midland earlier this season. [John E. Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
The Amarillo Sod Poodles had to go a long, long way from home to enjoy their most successful series of the season last week.

Traveling to face a Northwest Arkansas team with a winning record, the Sod Poodles hardly looked like the struggling team their record indicated six games earlier.

They won five out of six games over the Naturals to easily take the series, their first series win of the season, capping a three-game winning streak to take the series with a 7-6 victory Sunday.

The Sod Poodles (21-24) were off Monday but will stay in Arkansas this week, as they’ll start a six-game series against the Arkansas Travelers at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday.

Amarillo never trailed Sunday, taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, capped by a two-run double by Caleb Roberts.

Ivan Melendez had a big game at the plate, going 3-for-4 and driving in two runs. He had an RBI single in the fourth and a solo home run in the seventh.

Two batters after Melendez homered, Wilderd Patino hit a solo homer to make it 7-4, providing what turned out to be the winning run for the Soddies.

They actually clinched the series victory with a pair of wins Saturday. The Sod Poodles completed a game started Friday which was interrupted by weather and rolled to a 14-4 win, and in the regularly scheduled second game shortened to seven innings, they won 9-0, as Yilber Diaz finally got some good luck on the mound, throwing six shutout innings for the victory.

In Saturday’s first game, Tim Tawa was 2-for-4 with a homer and five RBIs, and in the second game, A.J. Vukovich was 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs.

The Soddies opened the series on the right foot with wins on Tuesday and Wednesday. They won the first game 6-5 and the second game 3-1. Reliever Jake Rice won the first game, and appropriately enough, also got the win to end the series Sunday.

What might have been most impressive about the series win was that the Sod Poodles did it without Deyvison De Los Santos, who was at or near the top of the Texas League in most offensive categories. De Los Santos was called up to the Triple-A Reno Aces by the Sod Poodles major league parent club Arizona Diamondbacks.

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