Anthony Figliolia Dominates in Two Starts to Lead Amarillo Thunderheads
Week in Review, June 15-21
Things are looking up for the Amarillo Thunderheads, as the club went 4-2 during the week to jump into third place. With Joplin having two tough series, including a big five-game set against the Wichita Wingnuts, this is Amarillo’s opportunity to gain some ground in the ultra-competitive South Division of the American Association.
The Thunderheads began by splitting two games with the Grand Prairie AirHogs before the third game was rained out. In the first game Amarillo led 6-2 heading in the eighth, but Grand Prairie scored five in the frame to take the lead. The Thunderheads got a run in the ninth to tie the score, but fell in the bottom of the 10th. Drew Heid had three hits and two RBI in the loss.
The Amarillo Thunderheads responded by shutting out the AirHogs behind eight outstanding innings from Anthony Figliolia. The right-hander allowed 6 hits and struck out 4 in the 2-0 win. Andy Crowley drove in both runs in the sixth inning.
Two days later the Thunderheads began a three-game series at home where Amarillo took two of three from the Laredo Lemurs. In the first game of the serie,s Chris Balcom-Miller pitched six solid innings, allowing just 2 runs, 1 earned, in a 3-2 win. Randy Hamrick saved his second game of the week, and fourth of the season.
Following the pitchers’ duel came a 10-8 slugfest. Laredo led virtually the entire game, but a four-run eight allowed Laredo to tie the score. The excitement for the visitors did not last long as Amarillo scored two in the bottom half of the inning to win 10-8. Hamrick added save No. 3 for the week and Drew Heid and Jose Martinez each had three hits. Stefan Gartrell hit his first home run since joining Amarillo.
Game 3 of the series Laredo won, and won in a big way. The Thunderheads were shut out 11-0. Martinez recorded three hits.
The Amarillo Thunderheads responded in the final game of the series. They fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first, but then scored six unanswered runs to win 6-1. Figliolia was brilliant again, allowing one run in seven innings for his fourth win of the season. Rene Leveret had 2 hits and 2 RBI.
June 15 – Grand Prairie 8, Amarill0 7
June 16 – Amarillo 2, Grand Prairie 0
June 17 – Postponed Until June 29
June 18 – Amarillo 3, Laredo 2
June 19 – Amarillo 10, Laredo 8
June 20 – Laredo 11, Amarillo 0
June 21 – Amarillo 6, Laredo 1
Record: 14-14, Third Place in South Division, 4.5 Games Out
Anthony Figliolia had a huge week. The right-hander won both of his starts, allowing just 1 earned run in 15 innings pitched. The Thunderheads starter gave up 12 hits and just 1 walk, while striking out 6. He pitched eight shutout innings against Grand Prairie on Tuesday before allowing one run in a 6-1 win over Laredo this past Sunday. That moved his season record to 4-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.65.
On June 15, the Amarillo Thunderheads released RHP Brooks Pinckard. The right-hander appeared in eight games, covering 6.1 innings pitched. He had no record and an 8.52 ERA when he was released.
One day later, LHP Kristhiam Linares and RHP Collin Allen were released by the club. Allen was 1-0 with a 16.87 ERA at the time of his release.
On June 19, catcher Chad Bunting and OF Stefan Gartrell were signed by Amarillo, and OF Andy Crowley was let go. Gartrell began the season with Sioux Falls and is 1-15 in his first four games with the team. Bunting is hitting .350 with a home run and 4 RBI.
By Robert Pannier