De­wees’ blast gives Nat­u­rals a 2-1 vic­tory

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS - HENRY AP­PLE


SPRING­DALE — Don­nie De­wees Jr. had seen enough of Ed­die Gam­boa’s knuck­le­ball an­tics Fri­day night.

De­wees ended the Tulsa pitcher’s no-hit bid in the fifth in­ning when he belted a home run, and his team­mates fol­lowed suit with an­other run on three more hits as the Nat­u­rals ended a six-game los­ing skid with a

2-1 vic­tory over the Drillers at Ar­vest Ball­park.

“I can’t even think of us see­ing one since I’ve been in the league,” North­west Arkansas man­ager Vance Wil­son said. “It’s tough be­cause you don’t want your guys to get out­side them­selves. In the same sense, it’s a good ex­pe­ri­ence for them.

“The guy was tough early. I thought he ac­tu­ally did a great job of mix­ing up his speeds, but Don­nie got us on the board.”

Tulsa (49-49 over­all, 16-12 sec­ond half) led 1-0 af­ter Jose Fer­nan­dez hit a solo home run off Corey Ray in the fourth in­ning. Gam­boa kept North­west Arkansas’ bats silent with a knuck­le­ball that ranged 58-72 mph, which made a mid-80s fast­ball seem even faster. De­wees, how­ever, didn’t see a good pitch in the sec­ond in­ning and ended up with a walk.

De­wees saw three straight knuck­lers to be­gin his next at-bat, then Gam­boa tried to sneak a fast­ball by him. In­stead, De­wees con­nected on the 2-1 pitch and belted it over the right-field fence to tie the game.

“I prob­a­bly saw that knuck­le­ball about seven times and two fast­balls,” De­wees said. “But I hap­pened to guess right on that one. I was think­ing fast­ball, and I put a good swing on it.

“I knew I would see a lot of knuck­le­balls the first time, so I was sit­ting on it there. I had seen three straight knuck­le­balls on that at-bat, and I knew he likes to sneak a fast­ball in at times. I fig­ured ‘Heck, why not sit on it just once?’”

Al­fredo Es­calera kept the in­ning alive with a two-out walk against Gam­boa (1-1), then he raced to third as Car­los Diaz ex­cuted the hit-an­drun and crossed up Tulsa sec­ond base­man Tim Lo­cas­tro. Nicky Lopez an­swered with a solid sin­gle to left to score Es­calera and give the Nat­u­rals (51-47, 12-16) a 2-1 lead.

That was all North­west Arkansas needed. Ray (6-7) al­lowed just six hits and left af­ter Er­rol Robinson’s sin­gle to start the sev­enth, then Richard Love­lady avoided an

eighth-in­ning jam be­fore Jake New­berry pitched a per­fect ninth for his 15th save.

“Corey did great,” Wil­son said. “He wasn’t sharp lo­ca­tion-wise, but ob­vi­ously he had good stuff on the ball.


■ Kansas City Roy­als out­fielder Paulo Or­lando, who played at North­west Arkansas from 2010-12, joined the team Fri­day as part of a re­hab as­sign­ment and served as a

des­ig­nated hit­ter. He fin­ished 2-for-4 with a pair of sin­gles, in­clud­ing one in the fifth, but Diaz was thrown out at the plate to end the in­ning.

■ North­west Arkansas cen­ter­fielder An­der­son Miller de­nied Tulsa of an­other run when he drove and snagged Lo­cas­tro’s sink­ing line drive to end the fifth.

■ Tulsa catcher Brant Whit­ing re­turned to the team for a sec­ond time Thurs­day, but was ac­tu­ally see­ing his first game ac­tion with the Drillers. He led off with eighth with a dou­ble against Love­lady, who man­aged to keep Whit­ing stranded at third when the in­ning ended.

On Deck: The two teams con­tinue their four-game se­ries with a 6:05 p.m. game to­day at Ar­vest Ball­park, and North­west Arkansas will send left-han­der Foster Grif­fin (7-2, 3.14 ERA) to the mound. Tulsa’s listed start­ing pitcher is right-han­der Tim Shibuya (3-1, 1.74), but the Drillers put him on the 7-day dis­abled list Thurs­day.

To­day’s Pro­mo­tion: It’s Big Coun­try Bash night, and fans will en­joy a free postgame con­cert by coun­try mu­sic star Jer­rod Nie­mann fol­low­ing the game. There is also a Satur­day Happy Hour, where fans can en­joy half­price deals on more than 70 dif­fer­ent bev­er­ages. Gates will open at 4:35 p.m.

On The Air: KQSM-FM 92.1

On The Web: www.nwa nat­u­


Dar­ren Se­fe­rina hit a run-scor­ing sin­gle in the first in­ning, lead­ing the Spring­field Car­di­nals to an 8-3 win over the Arkansas Trav­el­ers on Fri­day.

The sin­gle by Se­fe­rina started the scor­ing in a five-run in­ning and gave the Car­di­nals a 1-0 lead. Later in the in­ning, Spring­field scored on three more plays, in­clud­ing a two-run dou­ble by Ja­cob Wil­son.

Af­ter Arkansas scored two runs in the third, the Trav­el­ers cut into the deficit in the fourth in­ning when Ryan Cas­teel hit a solo home run.

The Car­di­nals later added two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth. In the fifth, Wil­son hit an RBI dou­ble and then scored on a sin­gle by Mag­neuris Sierra, while Se­fe­rina scored on an er­ror in the sixth.

Spring­field right-han­der Zac Gallen (3-2) picked up a qual­ity start and the win af­ter al­low­ing three runs on eight hits over six in­nings. Op­pos­ing starter Brett Ash (5-10) took the loss in the Texas League game af­ter a rough out­ing in which he al­lowed seven runs and nine hits over 41/3 in­nings.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.