Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Castillo Leads Charge In 17-6 Onslaught of Arkansas

Castillo Homers Twice, Melendez Makes it Three Straight
August 17, 2023

Amarillo, Texas (August 16, 2023) – Los Pointy Boots de Amarillo exploded for a season-high 17 runs on 15 hits to take control of the series against Arkansas on Wednesday night. All nine in the Amarillo order recorded hits and scored with seven of the nine crossing the plate multiple

Amarillo, Texas (August 16, 2023) – Los Pointy Boots de Amarillo exploded for a season-high 17 runs on 15 hits to take control of the series against Arkansas on Wednesday night. All nine in the Amarillo order recorded hits and scored with seven of the nine crossing the plate multiple times. Amarillo outscored Arkansas 10-1 from the bottom of the fifth inning on.

Amarillo struck first and often in game two. Consecutive one-out walks helped to provide a 1-0 lead with Seth Beer flaring a RBI single into shallow center field to score Caleb Roberts in the bottom of the first. Amarillo left-hander Yu-Min Lin made quick work of the Travelers in the top of the second to the tune of striking out the side in order.

Neyfy Castillo led off the bottom of the second with a double. Amarillo's second run of the night came around with the help of an errant throw that allowed Kevin Vicuña to reach second and Castillo to score. After the Travs got the second out of the inning, Roberts roped a RBI double into the right-field corner. Two pitches later Amarillo's home run leader A.J. Vukovich added to his season total with his 20th of his campaign. His two-run blast capped a four-run inning that had Amarillo in front 5-0.

Arkansas got two back in the third thanks to a leadoff home run in the inning and a two-out RBI single later in the frame. Amarillo got both runs right back during the next half-inning with Castillo hitting a two-run home run to push the lead back to five. As they did in the third, Arkansas strung together a trio of runs to tighten things for the time being.

Following a scoreless bottom of the fourth Amarillo's offense exploded in the fifth. Ivan Melendez began the inning with his 12th home run since arriving in Amarillo and his 30th overall on the season. The solo blast to the deepest part of the ballpark made it three straight games with a home run for the D-backs' no. 8-rated prospect. Deyvison De Los Santos picked up his second hit of the game and once again put himself aboard ahead of Castillo. His second two-run home run of the night followed and made it back-to-back games leaving the yard. With two outs in the inning, Tim Tawa made it a three-home-run inning for Amarillo with a two-run opposite field berm blast. The five-run inning pushed Amarillo's lead to seven at 12-5.

Mitchell Stumpo was brought on to relieve Lin in the top of the sixth inning. The right-hander struck out the side, working around a one-out single to leave a runner stranded in scoring position after Kaden Polcovich stole second. Taylor Rashi made his Amarillo debut after taking over pitching duties in the seventh. Amarillo's newest addition to the bullpen retired the first two he faced. A pair of hits followed, the second being a RBI double to make it 12-6.

The offense responded with another huge inning in the bottom of the eighth. Kevin Vicuña singled, becoming the last of the Amarillo starters to record a hit on the night. Two walks in the inning plus hits by Melendez and Beer would follow to score three more for Amarillo. A productive groundout scored the fourth run of the frame and sent Castillo back to the plate. He continued his ridiculous night at the dish with his fourth hit and his second double to go with his two home runs. His fifth RBI of the game was the final of another five-run inning for Amarillo.

Kyle Backhus was back to the mound after a 1-2-3 eighth. The southpaw went: out, walk, out, walk to put a couple of Travs aboard in the final inning and down to their final out. He picked up the third strikeout of his two innings of work to put a stamp on the victory as Amarillo has built a two-game lead in the series and their fourth straight win overall.

The series will continue as Amarillo aims to inch closer to the best overall record in the Texas League this season. Amarillo now sits at 60-50 on the year with the Travs at 61-48. RHP Peter Solomon will take the ball for Amarillo on Thursday night with a chance to secure at worst a series split. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.


HAVE A NEY: Neyfy Castillo exploded for the best game of his career with a four-hit night - all for extra bases. He set a career-high with four hits and recorded the first multi-home run game of his 373-game professional career. He also matched his career-high with a five-RBI game. His first five-RBI game came back on July 1, 2021, when he was with Low-A Visalia. His multi-home run game made it the seventh by an Amarillo player this year and also gave him a home run in two straight games after hitting a grand slam in the series opener on Tuesday. He is up to 14 on the year now, tied for the fourth-most by a Sod Poodle this season and the second-most in a single season of his career after hitting 21 during the 2021 season.

DIRTY THIRTY: A historic season continues for Ivan Melendez in 2023; his first full season in pro ball after being selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 43rd overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. Melendez hit his 30th home run of the year with a solo blast on Wednesday night. He now finds himself tied for the 11th most home runs hit by a D-backs minor leaguer in a single season and is one of just 14 players in the farm system to ever eclipse the 30-home run mark. He also made it three-straight games with a home run, the second time he has done that in 25 games played with Amarillo. In those 25 games, he is already tied for the sixth-most home runs hit by a Sod Poodle this season. Since his arrival in Double-A on July 14th, Melendez ranks first in home runs, RBI (32), is tied for first in total bases (71), tied for second in SLG (.710) and XBH (16), and is tied for seventh in OPS (1.067).

VUKULAR: A.J. Vukovich added to his team lead with his 20th home run and another two RBI to give him 83 on the season. His 83 RBI are the second-most in a single season in franchise history, breaking the tie he had with Stone Garrett (2021) entering the day. Leandro Cedeño set the franchise record with 93 last season. His 20 home runs are the third-most in team history, trailing Cedeño who hit 30 last year, and Garrett who hit 25 during his 2021 season in Amarillo. The D-backs' no.10-rated prospect continues to add to what already is a single-season high and has now hit 50 career home runs in 301 games as a pro.

COME ON HOME: Amarillo set a single-season high with 17 runs, topping the previous high of 15 the club had set in the second game of a seven-inning doubleheader against Tulsa on July 3. All nine Amarillo starters scored, just the second time that has been done so far in 2023 (May 5 @ CC) and the eighth time in team history. Seven of the nine players each crossed the plate multiple times, led by Neyfy Castillo's three runs scored. It was the 23rd time this season a player has scored three times, with the last coming last Sunday against Tulsa by Deyvison De Los Santos.

WE ALL HIT: Along with all nine scoring, all nine of the starters each recorded a hit. It was the eighth time this year the team had accomplished that, with the last coming in game one of the doubleheader against Tulsa on July 3rd. Four Amarillo players recorded multiple hits, led by Neyfy Castillo's four-hit game.

LINSANITY AT THE DIAMOND: D-backs no. 4-rated prospect Yu-Min Lin secured his third Double-A win in his first six starts since a promotion from High-A Hillsboro. The lefty went 5.0 IP on Wednesday night and struck out seven. His seven strikeouts helped him eclipse 200 career strikeouts in his 33rd professional game. In his six starts so far for Amarillo, he has six or more strikeouts in all but one game.

BOMBS AWAY: Amarillo matched their season-high for home runs in a game with five. It was the fourth time this year swatting five long balls in a game and the first since July 15 at home against Frisco. The combo of Melendez/Castillo/Tawa all left the yard in the fifth inning, the third time this year Amarillo has hit three home runs in the same inning. The team now has hit 30 home runs in 14 games during the month of August, already the third-most HR in any single month this season. Amarillo tied the franchise high with 43 home runs last month. The 159 home runs hit this season are the second-most among all Double-A clubs and are tied for the 11th most in the minors this year. The Salem Red Sox (Low-A, Boston) have the fewest home runs of any full-season minor league club this year with 46 in 107 games.