February 23, 2024

NWA Naturals – Naturals Shut Out Amarillo, 5-0, To Take Series Lead

Naturals Shut Out Amarillo, 5-0, To Take Series Lead

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals would get their first shutout of the 2023 season, 5-0, in last night’s contest with the Amarillo SodPoodles. Tonight, they would follow this performance up with another 5-0 win, before a home crowd of 4,856 fans. In tonight’s win the Naturals had strong pitching, timely hitting, and sudden confidence as the team is now an even 7-7 on the season. Tonight showed some of the Royals‘ top prospects playing some great ball in a team win.  We will discuss these things plus what the coach had to say in postgame and what is next. 

Let’s find out what the Naturals did tonight in order to get this win. 

What Happened? 

On the Mound

The Naturals came into tonight’s game having at least 10 Ks in each of its 13 games. While they would not continue that streak, which is the longest in team history, by only getting eight in tonight’s contest they would pitch well. The Naturals would throw four pitchers to shut down the SodPoodles. Arkansas would allow 3 hits, 2 walks, and the above-mentioned 8 Ks as a team. 

NWA would start right-hander, Alec Marsh, and he would not disappoint. Marsh would get his fourth professional win with five innings of work allowing 2 hits, 1 walk, and having 4 Ks in what was an outstanding performance for the number 16 prospect in the Royals. Marsh would throw 68 pitches with 47 of them being for strikes tonight while having four groundouts with five flyouts in 17 batters faced. The voice of the Naturals, Shawn Murnin, spoke about the performance of Marsh on his Twitter post-game. 

Following Marsh would be another top prospect in Chandler Chamberlain. The number 26 prospect would pitch two innings in relief tonight and perform well. Chamberlain would only allow one walk and have three strikeouts while keeping the SodPoodles at bay.  He would face 7 batters on the night with two flyouts with 21 pitches, out of 32 total, thrown for strikes. 

Yefri Del Rosario and Jacob Wallace would each pitch an inning to close the SodPoodles off. Del Rosario would finish the night with three strikeouts and one walk. Wallace would come in and close it while allowing one hit and having one strikeout to end the night for Amarillo.

At The Plate

The Naturals were solid from the plate in the win tonight. To further this point, Jeison Guzman would get the first hit of the game with a single to right in the bottom of the second inning. Amarillo would match this with their first of three hits, in the game, in the top half of the 3rd when Ryan Bliss would double to left field. 

The Naturals would get on the board in the bottom of the third inning with seven batters coming to the plate and scoring two runs. After an opening walk by Parker Bates, Tyler Tolbert‘s single would lead to Peyton Wilson‘s single that would score Bates making it 1-0 Naturals. John Rave would hit into a double play while allowing Tolbert to score to make it 2-0 headed to the fourth inning. The scoring would continue in the bottom half of the eighth. The Royal’s number thirteen prospect, Luca Tresh,  would get a single to left field that would score Rave after an inning-opening triple to left. Later in the inning, Guzman would put the game away with his 4th deep ball of the season. This one would also score Tresh and put the Naturals up 5-0 as they headed to the ninth inning. 

The Naturals have proven through their first fourteen games that run can be scored by this team. Tonight was another indication of how this team can almost flip a switch. While we are only 14 games into the 138 the 2023 season has started well for this organization. With the runs tonight, this team has now scored 80 runs which come out to an average of just over five runs per game. 

What Did Coach Have To Say? 

We spoke to the manager, Tommy Shields, post-game, in his office, about the win tonight. With it being a second straight shutout the pitching was a focus. Here is what he had to say about their performance tonight. 

“I think the pitching you know back to back shutouts is really been great. And it’s good to get guys multiple innings starters have been getting us five. You know, they can only go five but they’ve been getting us five. In our bullpen. We got some good arms in the bullpen. We got some good arms on the staff you know starters and bullpen so they’re doing their jobs.”

What Is Next? 

The Naturals and SodPoodles have one game remaining in this series starting Sunday, the 23rd, at 2:05 pm. The Naturals will be looking for their first home series win since the 2021 season when they defeated the Springfield Cardinals to close the season. NWA will have Beck Way on the mound. Beck comes in with an 0-1 record on the season and a 17.18 ERA. The SodPoodles will throw right-hander Deyni Ollvero in the series finale. Olvera comes in with a 0-1 record and an 11.57 ERA. 

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