Naturals Punch out 'Hounds in Series Finale Win
SPRINGDALE, Ark - Northwest Arkansas pitchers recorded a season-high 18 strikeouts as the Naturals (55-78/24-41) punch out the Midland RockHounds (69-66/35-31) by a 5-1 final in the series finale on Thursday night at Arvest Ballpark. The win secures the fifth series split of the season for Northwest Arkansas as they head into the final 5-game series of the year against Frisco.
Veteran Scott Blewett (W, 1-3) made his fifth start of the season for Northwest Arkansas. The tall right-hander, whom is a member of the Kansas City Royals' 40-man roster, allowed one earned run on five hits and struck out nine in 5.1 innings of work to earn his first victory of the season as a member of the Naturals since joining the club on August 7th. Over his last four starts, including tonight's outing, he has struck out 31 of the last 93 hitters that he has faced while allowing just seven earned runs.
The Naturals pitching staff have relied on strikeouts throughout the entire series and the relievers picked up right where Blewett left off on Thursday night. The quartet of Dan Tillo, Franco Terrero, Jake Brentz, and Tyler Zuber combined to fan nine hitters in 3.2 innings of relief. As a pitching staff, the Naturals recorded 56 punch outs in the 4-game series against the 'Hounds.
With the pitching staff firing on all cylinders, the Northwest Arkansas offense gave them a much-needed early lead with two runs in the second as Jordan George drove in the first run with a single while Gabriel Cancel scored on a passed ball.
The RockHounds got a run back in the third on a Mikey White solo home run but that would be all the offense for the visitors.
The Naturals responded with another run in the fourth and two more in the fifth to complete the scoring. Freddy Fermin drove home Cancel with a RBI groundout in the third while Cancel continued his big night with a two-run double in the fifth inning.
Cancel led the offense in the finale as he went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs including his 30th double of the season. Meanwhile, outfielders Dairon Blanco and Khalil Lee each recorded their third multi-hit games of the series.
Northwest Arkansas will continue their final 9-game in 8-day homestand on Friday, August 30th with the series opener against the Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A Texas Rangers) at Arvest Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. for the return of Wizard Night on a Fireworks Friday presented by SeaPak. The Naturals will send right-hander Jackson Kowar (2-6, 3.28 ERA) to the bump to square off against fellow righty Jason Bahr (3-3, 3.63) of the RoughRiders. Catch the play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on KQSM - 92.1 The Ticket starting at 6:45 p.m. with the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The Naturals play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Ark. For more information, including statistics, ticket options, promotions, group options and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.
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Texas League Stories from August 29, 2019
- Drillers Power Seven Homers in Win over Amarillo - Tulsa Drillers
- Naturals Punch out 'Hounds in Series Finale Win - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
- Leblanc Tees off in Series Finale - Frisco RoughRiders
- Whitley Wonderful in 2-1 Hooks Win - Corpus Christi Hooks
- Hooks Eliminated from Playoff Contention in 8-6 Loss - Corpus Christi Hooks
- Sod Poodles Manager Phillip Wellman Named 2019 Texas League Manager of the Year - Amarillo Sod Poodles
- Pete Woodworth Voted League Coach of the Year - Arkansas Travelers
- Texas League Names Manager and Coach of the Year - TL
- 2020 Regular Season Schedule Announced - Northwest Arkansas Naturals
- Milburn, Motter Lead Hounds Closer to Playoffs - Midland RockHounds
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