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 Northwest Arkansas Naturals

Pasquantino Collects Five Hits in Double-A Debut as Naturals Split Doubleheader with Drillers

July 21, 2021 - Texas League (TL)
Northwest Arkansas Naturals News Release

Just called up from High-A Quad Cities, Northwest Arkansas Naturals first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino hit a home run in his first Double-A at-bat and went 5-for-7 across both games of Tuesday's doubleheader, as the Naturals split the day with the Tulsa Drillers. Northwest Arkansas took the first game 5-0, making up a suspended game from June, but Tulsa came back to win the second game 9-8 in seven innings for a doubleheader split.

The day began just after 4:00 p.m. at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, completing a game that began on June 6 but was suspended due to rain with the Naturals up 1-0 in the top of the second at Arvest Ballpark

Northwest Arkansas played as the home team in the first game of the day and saw many lineup changes, as five of the players in the original lineup have been promoted to Triple-A Omaha in the last 44 days.

One of those new additions was Pasquantino, who took over for Nick Pratto (MLB Pipeline's No. 5 Royals' prospect) at first base and third in the batting order. In his very first plate appearance with the Naturals, Pasquantino deposited an 0-1 pitch into the Naturals bullpen in right-center for a two-run home run that at the time made the score 3-0.

The Naturals added additional runs in the fourth and seventh innings of Game 1, on an RBI single from Brhet Bewley and an RBI double from MJ Melendez (MLB Pipeline's No. 13 Royals' prospect).

Clay Dungan and Dairon Blanco each contributed two hits of 10 total in the winning effort.

With starting pitcher Marcelo Martinez in Triple-A, Nolan Watson took over on the mound to start the suspended game and earned his first win of the season with 3.2 innings of scoreless work.

Josh Dye and Colin Snider followed Watson with 4.0 innings of scoreless relief and six combined strikeouts in the team's third shutout win of the season.

The night's second game, the originally scheduled game, started off with a bang, as the Naturals scored five runs on five hits in the first, capped by a Bewley grand slam, his fifth home run of the season.

That first inning began with three straight singles, including the first of four hits in the nightcap from Pasquantino.

The left-handed hitter finished the game 4-for-4, with singles in the first, second and fourth innings, adding a double in the sixth.

Not only did Pasquantino finish with a perfect day at the plate, but Blanco, Bewley and Blake Perkins each contributed two hit efforts as the Naturals outhit the Drillers 13 to 12. Tulsa responded to the big Northwest Arkansas first inning with seven runs across the first four innings.

Northwest Arkansas pushed back into the game, with two runs in the fifth on a Perkins double and one more in the sixth on a Melendez sacrifice fly that scored Blanco.

Jose Cuas offered 1.1 scoreless innings with a strikeout at the back end of the bullpen but the Naturals could not get the tying run around from first in the seventh inning.

Northwest Arkansas (35-31) sits 2.5 games out of first place, third in the Double-A Central North Division, a half game ahead of Tulsa (35-32) in the division. The two teams continue their series at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday at ONEOK Field.

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