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Travs Digital Scorecard

Arkansas Travelers vs. Amarillo Sod Poodles (ARI)

Texas League Championship Series Game 1 – September 24, 2023

Record: 0-0

North Division Champion (def. Springfield 2-1)

Record: 0-0

South Division Champion (def. San Antonio 2-1)

Today's Game Notes

LEADING OFF--The Travelers and Sod Poodles open the Texas League Championship Series.

LAST TIME OUT--Arkansas left no doubt as they pummeled the Springfield Cardinals 14-1 on Friday night at Dickey-Stephens Park to claim the Texas League North Division Championship...needing a decisive third game, the Travs put together one of their most complete performances of the season in all facets...six Travelers pitchers limited the Cardinals to seven hits and did not issue a walk... Offensively, a barrage of 15 hits, nine walks and a hit batter produced 14 runs. Arkansas scored at least three runs in every frame from the fourth through the seventh innings...Robert Perez, Jr. homered twice and drove in six while Jake Anchia went 4-4 with four runs batted in.

PLAYOFF PRIMER--Arkansas is in the Texas League Championship Series for the first time since 2013 searching for their first title since 2013, the Travs lost a five game series to San Antonio...Amarillo advanced by rallying with a pair of road wins at San Antonio to claim the South Division championship...Sod Poodles are going for their first title since 2019 which was also the franchise’s only previous postseason appearance.

TOP OF THE CLASE--Jonatan Clase stole at least one base in nine of his last 12 regular season games totaling 16 steals...he led the league with 62 swipes despite having not been called up until early May...he is the first Traveler to lead the league in stolen bases since Bernard Gilkey (53) in is also the second most in the modern history of the Travelers trailing only Alex Cole who stole 68 in 1987... Clase’s 79 total stolen bases between Arkansas and Everett ranked third in all of the minors...his home run last Tuesday night was his 20th of the season overall making him the first known player ever to achieve a minor league season with 20+ HR and 70+ SB.

DID IT AGAIN--The Travs led the league in overall run differential for 2023 (+48)...Arkansas topped the Texas League in that category for the second consecutive season...last year the Travs were a +108.

A RARE FEAT--Arkansas lost 41 games in the second half of the season after winning 45 in the first half...Tulsa also won 40+ in the first half this season and lost 45 in half two...those are just the 10th and 11th instances of a team winning 40+ in one half and losing 40+ in the other half of a Texas League season since going to a half based schedule in is also the first time it has happened to two teams in the same season...Arkansas had never pulled off that feat before.

MEN OF STEAL--The Travs offense established a new franchise single season stolen base record...they took a league best 230 bags obliterating the record of 181 set in 1987...the record was broken on August 17 in the 110th game of the year... Jonatan Clase led the team and the league with 62 while Leo Rivas nabbed 50.

ROSTER SHUFFLE--Prior to the playoffs, the Mariners made several transactions affecting the Travs...INF Connor Hoover returned to Arkansas from Tacoma, LHP Peyton Alford and OF Bill Knight were promoted from Everett to Arkansas...RHP Alex Valverde and OF Spencer Packard were placed on the Development list and INF Edryn Rodriguez was sent back to the ACL Mariners roster.

PROSPECTING--The Travelers active roster is populated with six of the Mariners top 30 prospects according to the MLB Pipeline rankings...on that list are OF Jonatan Clase (#8), INF Tyler Locklear (#11), RHP Prelander Berroa (#15), OF Alberto Rodriguez (#17), RHP Travis Kuhn (#24) and RHP Jimmy Joyce (#28).

THE DIRT ON THE SOD POODLES--The Amarillo Sod Poodles (Arizona Diamondbacks) are South Division champs for the second time in five seasons... managed by Shawn Roof...led the league in nearly every offensive category...Amarillo has seven of Arizona’s top 30 prospects on the rankings on their active roster...that group includes LHP Yu-Min Lin (#4), INF Deyvison De Los Santos (#5), OF A.J. Vukovich (#10), OF Kristian Robinson (#11), RHP Dillon Ray (#19), RHP Yilber Diaz (#20) and C J.J. D’Orazio (#25).