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Naturals Secure Series with Another Walk-Off Win

August 18, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Northwest Arkansas Naturals News Release

SPRINGDALE, Ark - It was déja vu at Arvest Ballpark as the Naturals (51-72/20-35) used another walk-off win over the Drillers (68-57/31-25) to secure the series victory. The walk-off win was the second of the series and the fourth at home against Tulsa dating back to August 9th. As a result, Northwest Arkansas finishes the year with a 12-14 record against their North Division foe.

After giving up a solo home run in the ninth to Angelo Mora to tie the game, Naturals' closer Tyler Zuber (W, 1-1) gave his team exactly what they were looking for with a scoreless tenth. With the Drillers starting the frame with a runner at second, the right-hander got a pop out to first, groundout, and then another groundout to second base to escape without a blemish.

The clean inning gave the offense a chance and Emmanuel Rivera took advantage as he singled to left field off Tulsa reliever Nolan Long (L, 4-1), which allowed Gabriel Cancel to score and the second walk-off celebration in three nights commenced.

The season finale between the two clubs was a wild game throughout. Tulsa scored a run in the first on a Chris Parmelee home run but Northwest Arkansas answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning off Tulsa opener Jordan Sheffield using a RBI double by Kevin Merrell, a two-run single by Jordan George, and a sacrifice fly by Nate Esposito for the runs.

Tulsa inched closer in the third as Omar Estevez opened the frame with a solo home run off of Jackson Kowar. Kowar got the start for the Naturals and gave up two runs on seven hits in 3.0 innings of work. He struck out three and threw 69 pitches.

Northwest Arkansas would extend their lead in the home half of the third in exciting fashion. After Esposito worked a walk against Parker Curry, Blake Perkins hit an inside-the-park home run to give the Naturals a 6-2 lead over the Drillers. The inside-the-park homer was the first since Donnie Dewees accomplished the feat at Arvest Ballpark during the 2017 season.

The Drillers countered with two runs in the fifth on a RBI triple by Cody Thomas and a run-scoring single by Mora. Tulsa would then take their first lead of the game at 7-6 in the eighth on a single by Donovan Casey and a two-run home run by Thomas.

The lead would be short-lived though as the Naturals countered with a couple runs of their own in the bottom of the frame as Perkins provided the big hit with the bases loaded. What looked like a bases clearing triple, was ruled a two-run single as the runner in front of Perkins missed third base while rounding home and was ruled out when Tulsa's catcher threw over to third.

Outside of Rivera's game-winning hit, Perkins played the hero throughout as the outfielder went 3-for-4 with four RBIs.

The Naturals won just their fifth game of the season when trailing after the sixth inning and their 11th when being out-hit as Tulsa collected 15 hits - including four home runs - compared to just seven knocks and one homer for Northwest Arkansas.

Today's game concluded the 3-game homestand against Tulsa. Following a league-wide OFF day on Monday, Northwest Arkansas will head down to Midland to take on the RockHounds (Double-A Oakland Athletics) for a 3-game series before traveling to Frisco to square off against the RoughRiders (Double-A Texas Rangers) for the final 3-game series of the Texas trip. The Naturals will then return to Arvest Ballpark on Monday, August 26th for the final homestand of the 2019 regular season.

Catch the live play-by-play with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on KQSM - 92.1 The Ticket on Tuesday night starting at 6:10 p.m. for the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading to first pitch at 6:30 p.m. against the Midland RockHounds.

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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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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