Naturals Get Homered to Split Series With Springfield
Starting on Tuesday, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and Springfield Cardinals would embark on a six-game series. Despite a loss, 11-2, on Wednesday, and a loss, Saturday evening, 9-0, the Naturals have played well this series.
Coming into the final game, the Naturals have three wins, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and look to win their second straight home series. With a one-game lead in the series could the Naturals get the win? Let’s find out.
What is better than baseball, dollar hot dogs, and bark in the park? This is generally where we would input a Naturals win, but Naturals would lose 16-6. What happened to make it this lopsided? We will answer this question soon.
First, we have to discuss the events of the day. Later, we will discuss what certain Natruals players had the moment that many will remember for years to come. What was the atmosphere of the game today in what became a one-sided affair?
Today was a glorious, partly cloudy day, for baseball as it was 71 degrees at the 2:04 first pitch. Fans from around the area packed into the stadium with their four-legged friends. This would create a unique experience as you would randomly hear a dog toy squeaking. This, combined with the barking was comical while fans were eating hot dogs. This was a dog gone good time at Arvest.
This fanbase has shown thus far this season to come out and support this organization. With the attendance today they were in their seats and into the game until late. With ‘Sunday Funday’ and $1 Hot Dogs to close the season series on Sunday, expect this crowd to grow as players move to the team and the weather continues to warm up.
Even in today’s loss, this fanbase continues to show up to support them. This team has given the fans many things to cheer about in their current 18 wins and will look for more as the season matures. What did the fans get to see in today’s game? Let us find out.
The Naturals would have control of the game early with a 1-0 lead. This lead was gained by a wild pitch with Jimmy Govern scoring from third. The lead would grow, after a run by Springfield to tie the game in the fourth, when shortstop, Tyler Tolbert, would score Govern with a double. This would get his 9th double of the season and extend his hit streak to 11 games.
The Naturals would finish the 4th with a 3-1 lead when Morgan McCullough would hit a sacrifice fly that would score Jake Means. In the 5th, Jose Briiceno would score Rave to extend the lead to 5-1. This lead would be short-lived as this is where the game would turn.
In the top of the 6th, Noah Mendinger would hit his first HR over the right field wall. This would score Nick Dunn to make the score 5-3. Two batters later, Mike Antico would hit his 6th of 2023 to score Wade Strauss and Irving Lopez and give the Cardinals a lead they would never relinquish. This lead would grow, by one, when Chandler Redmond, would send a missile to right field for his 14th homer and 2nd deep ball of the series.
While the Naturals would attempt a comeback with a Govern homer in the 7th, for his 3rd of the season, this would be too little too late. In the 8th things would go from bad to worse in a hurry. While this inning seemed to take forever, we will be brief.
After runs being scored from Jacob Buchberger off an Irving Lopez bunt, then, Lopez scoring to extend the lead to three at 9-6 Springfield would close it out. The Cardinals would extend their lead to 12-6 when Lopez would hit his third home run of the season. The issue is that the bases were loaded and this extended the lead to the final score of 16-6. While this isn’t ideal this is where the moment of the day would happen.
Govern Thrills In Loss
At the top of the 9th, we would see a pitching change. Starting left fielder, Jimmy Govern would take the mound. Govern would face three batters on the day and throw 11 pitches. Of these pitches, 6 were for strikes. In what is his second appearance of the season from the mound, Govern would throw the following speeds: 45, 47, 49, 49, 46, 46, 45, 49, 49, 49, and 50.
The fans in the crowd came to their feet with every strike thrown. Govern would make quick work of the Cardinals in his three batters faced. This proves that Govern has become a fan favorite for this fanbase.
Govern would finish the day 3/4 from the plate with the above-mentioned home run. He finished the game with a .253 average and .724 on-base percentage. Today wasn’t about the loss, it was about realizing that Jimmy Govern is a diamond in the rough for this ball club.
What Is Next?
With the loss, the Naturals would fall to 18-21 on the season. Up next, the Naturals will hit the road, to Tulsa, to take on the Drillers. The Drillers are the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.