Every pitch in his repertoire felt good, and the results showed Wednesday night at Hodgetown for Lake Bachar.
The Amarillo Sod Poodles right-hander threw seven innings, allowed no runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three, and he was the guiding piece in a 4-1 victory for the Sod Poodles over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
“I feel like we had a plan,” Bachar said. “I was in sync and with dictation with everything. I felt confident.
“The warmup (before the game) went really well, and we mixed it up a lot.”
Amarillo manager Phillip Wellman was quite complimentary of Bachar’s performance.
“That’s the story of the night for me,” Wellman said. “He’s had two really good performances his last two outings. Any time you can go seven innings and throw up a zero, you’ve done your job.
“I think he had more left in the tank (when we took him out), but we have to honor our pitch counts.”
Bachar felt he could go another inning if needed. But, in the end, he utilized all his pitches to keep NWA off balance for seven strong frames, and while he felt he could go a little further, he understood the pitch-count limitation.
“I had a lot of confidence,” Bachar said. “I had confidence in every pitch. I’m hoping this win lights a spark under everyone and that we can go get another one tomorrow.
“I knew they weren’t going to give me (another inning), but I felt like I could stay out there and pitch all day.”
The Sod Poodles (31-32) broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth, scoring four runs for a 4-0 lead.
Taylor Kohlwey executed a perfect bunt that allowed Kyle Overstreet to score for a 1-0 Amarillo advantage. Peter Van Gansen then reached on an error to allow Buddy Reed to score and put the Soddies up 2-0.
Ivan Castillo hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Kohlwey, and Edward Olivares tallied his 15th double of the season to score Van Gansen.
Khalil Lee singled in the top of the eighth to give the Naturals (29-35) their first run of the game, but Amarillo's bullpen, highlighted by Kazukisa Makita, who recorded his first save of the year, shut NWA down for a three-run win.
The triumph pulled Amarillo within a half game of first-place Midland in the Texas League South standings. The Sod Poodles and the Naturals are scheduled to finish up their three-game series tonight at 7:05 p.m.