Travelers End Natural’s Streak 9-3
Springdale–The Northwest Arkansas Naturals had come back from six games below .500 to even their early season record at 11-11 going into game three of the Diamond Series against in-state rival Arkansas at Arvest Ballpark.
This time there would be no comeback.
The visitors took the early lead with a three run 3rd. Juan Segura sent a one-out fly-ball to deep center field with runners at first and third making it 1-0 Arkansas. Roberto Lopez followed with a two-run single and the Naturals found themselves in an early hole.
The home team put a dent in the Travelers lead when Mario Lisson bounced a ball to second with runners at the corners. Arkansas failed to pull off a double play as Segura’s relay to 1st got away from the 1st baseman allowing a runner to score from third.
In the ninth, the Travelers exploded for five runs on just three singles benefiting from three intentional walks and a two-base error. Arkansas had the bases loaded with nobody out when Darwin Perez delivered a sacrifice fly to make it 5-1. Bryan Paukovits’ wild pitch sent another run in for the Travelers before Roberto Lopez was intentionally walked and Casey Haerther hit a two-run single to make it 8-1. Renny Osuna’s RBI single capped the big inning for the Travs.
Northwest Arkansas tried to make a game of it loading the bases on a single and a pair of walks. Johnny Whittleman managed a sacrifice fly and Yem Prades followed with an RBI single to close the gap to 9-3 but that was it as the Naturals’ six-game winning streak came to an end.
Jake Odorizzi (2-2) took the loss for the Naturals, going six innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked two and fanned four. Mike Piazza (1-0), on in relief of Hellweg, got the win for the Travelers.
The game four starts at 11 a.m. Monday. Right-hander Felipe Paulin will make the second start of his current rehab stint as he faces right-hander Ariel Pena (1-1, 4.03) on the hill for the Travelers.