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Three Home Runs Open Series in Frisco with Win for Naturals

June 9, 2021 - Double-A Central League (AA Central) - Northwest Arkansas Naturals News Release

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals connected for three home runs in the first four innings and nearly had a fourth, but were able to edge out a 7-6 victory over the Frisco RoughRiders on Tuesday night to open up a 12-game road trip.

Bobby Witt Jr. (MLB Pipeline's No. 7 prospect in baseball) and Nick Pratto (MLB Pipeline's No. 9 Royals' prospect) each blasted a homer and put together three-hit nights in the series-opening victory.

While they entered the night tied atop the Double-A Central with nine home runs each, Witt Jr. left the yard just eight pitches into the game, a 443-foot solo shot to center field in the first inning that for a moment, gave him the league lead in home runs with 10 on the season.

But in the third inning, Pratto cleared the right field fence for his 10th of the year, a three run shot that put the Naturals first baseman right back into a tie for the league lead.

Witt Jr. broke the leaderboard tie on the first pitch of the fifth, but the home run was called back by the home plate umpire after Frisco appealed home, ruling that Witt Jr. did not touch home plate after rounding the bases.

It was officially scored a triple, and after the seventh inning single, Witt Jr. came a double shy of the cycle.

Pratto also came one hit away from a cycle, though he needed a triple, after doubling in the fifth and singling home his fourth run of the game in the seventh.

Brewer Hicklen (MLB Pipeline's No. 25 Royals' prospect) was the third Naturals hitter to leave the yard, drilling a solo shot to left in the fourth inning.

Stephen Woods Jr. earned his first win of the season, pitching through 5.0 innings for the first time in 2021, allowing three runs on four hits.

Josh Dye entered the game in the eighth inning and finished off the game while punching out one to earn his fourth save of the year.

The Naturals, now back to .500 with a 14-14 record, look to win back-to-back games Wednesday with North Texas native Jon Heasley (MLB Pipeline's No. 13 Royals' prospect) making his return home to start for Northwest Arkansas.

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