Naturals Explode To Win Final Game, At Home, Against Wichita
After winning, 5-1, on Saturday night to get their first home series win since 2021, the Naturals were coming into Sunday with confidence.
On what was a beautiful yet comfortable 85-degree partly cloudy day of baseball, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals would win, 12-3, in the final game against the Wichita Wind Surge. In the two-hour and seven-minute win, the Naturals would come alive offensively and have controlled pitching with impeccable defense behind it. We will take a look at what happened in the win and what is next for the Naturals.
Beginning at 2:07, the Naturals would explode, at home, for their 4th straight win to close the series. In the win, NWA would have great pitching from its starter as well as the bullpen. In addition to this, the above-mentioned explosion was from the plate with a blowout win. We will get into both in detail. We will start with what happened on the mound, then to the plate to analyze what took place in the win.
On The Mound
The Naturals would use four pitchers on the day to shut down the Wind Surge. To start the game would be Ronald Medrano. Medrano would be making his minor-league rehab stint and despite the three runs allowed pitched well. Medrano would finish with 55 pitches thrown while facing 18 batters on the day. In his 3.2 innings pitched, Medrano would finish allowing 5 hits, 3 runs, 1 hit batter, and 1 walk. The right-hander would use 32 strikes thrown to assist in his 2 Ks on the day while allowing 3 ground and flyouts. The home crowd of 4,876 would let Medrano know they appreciated his efforts with a grand applause as he would exit the game.
Next on the mound would be right-handed slinger, Adrian Alcantara, who would end up with the win making it his first of the 2023 season. Alcantara would finish with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 2 Ks. Adrian threw 37 pitches, with 19 being for strikes, to 9 batters during his 2.1 innings of work. The day for Alcantara would end at the top of the 7th.
Will Klein would enter and face 7 batters in his 2 innings of work. The right-hander would throw 25 total pitches while allowing one walk and use his 16 strikes to help get his 2 Ks. He would have 2 ground outs and one fly-out on a day where he stepped in and did his job. He pitched with confidence in his fastball today.
Coming in to finish off the Wind Surge, would be Dante Biasi. The 25-year-old left-hander would step in having a 12-3 lead behind his back. After back-to-back walks, Biasi would get a fly-out for the first out. Then, on the next batter, he would get a double play to close out the game. Biasi would face 4 batters allowing 2 walks while throwing 17 pitches. In addition, Biasi would throw 7 strikes and have 1 ground and fly out as mentioned above.
The Naturals’ pitching has been strong to start in 2023. Coming into Sunday’s game, the Naturals led the Texas League in strikeouts, with 280 through the first 26 games. As a pitching staff, the Naturals rank 5th in the league.
From The Plate
The Naturals would finish the day with 19 hits and it would begin early. Shortstop, Tyler Tolbert, would get his 4th double of the season in the bottom of the 1st. Two batters later, Tolbert would score when John Rave would single to right field to cut the lead to one run at 2-1. Two batters after this, Jeison Guzman would get his 15th RBI when he would single to left scoring Rave and tying the game at two. Guzman would get his 2nd steal of the season when he would steal second before Jimmy Govern would strike out to end the inning.
After allowing a run in the top of the 2nd, the Naturals would go scoreless in the bottom of that inning. After a three up and three down top of the 3rd for the Wind Surge, the Naturals would take the game over offensively. In the bottom of the third, third baseman, Morgan McCullough would single and score Tolbert to tie the game at three runs. After a single from Rave and strikeouts from Jorge Bonifacio and Guzman, Govern would single to center to score Rave and McCullough to take a 4-3 lead that they would never surrender.
In the bottom half of the fifth inning, Dillan Shrum would hit his second home run of the season on a ball that had an exit velocity of 102 off the bat that was sent to right field. The right fielder took two steps back and stopped as the entire Arvest Ballpark knew it was gone when it left the bat. This deep ball would score Bonifacio and Govern and put the Naturals up 7-3.
In the bottom of the next inning, the sixth, the Naturals would open the game up and pull away from the Wind Surge. McCullough would hit his first home run of the season when he would send a 404-foot TATER to right field. This ball would have an exit velocity of 108 and extend the lead to 8-3. After a single by Rave and Bonifacio, Guzman would single to score Rave. Two batters later, Shrum would single to score Bonifacio to score their third run of the inning and further the lead to 10-3.
In the bottom of the 8th inning, to start the inning, McCullough would single, Rave, would walk, and Bonifacio would single to score Mccullough. After a Guzman strikeout, Govern would single to score the final run when Rave would make it 12-3.
On the day, the Naturals had 41 at-bats with 19 hits, 4 walks, 10 SO, and 22 runners left on base. With runners in scoring position, the Naturals were 10/21 on the day. These things will need to continue to happen in order for this team to continue its success.
What Is Next?
The Naturals will take to the road as they travel to Little Rock, to take on fellow Texas League foe the Arkansas Travelers. The Travelers come into this series with a 16-12 record, in 2nd place in the North Division, and one game ahead of the Naturals in the standings. The six-game series will begin on Tuesday night with a 6:35 pm central time first pitch. The Naturals will start right-hander Anthony Hoffman. Hoffman comes into this game with a 2-2 record and a 4.15 ERA.