July 18, 2024

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals Are Hotter Than The Temps Outside

NWA Naturals Logo - Courtesy of Northwest Arkansas Naturals Media Dept

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals Are Hotter Than The Temps Outside

The Naturals finished the first half of the 2024 season winners of the last 12 of their 15 games. As they start the second half of the season, they are in Wichita for a six game series with the Wind Surge. We will dive heads first into some updates on the current series, history with the Surge, numbers for the Naturals, streaks, and more. 

What Happened Recently?

Northwest Arkansas and Wichita are no strangers to eachother. In the most recent game of this series the Surge would win, 6-1, which would snap a five game winning streak from the Naturals. After a quiet first two innings, the Surge would erupt for four runs on starter Tyson Guerrero for the Naturals. Guererro would throw 5 innings in the loss which puts his record to 1-4 in 2024. 

Guerrero would pitch somewhat longer than his average of 4.3 innings per appearance. In addition to this, he allowed roughly his average of runs per start of 4.36. The Surge would score arun in the 5th and 6th to take a 6-0 lead. Northwest Arkansas would score a run in the 9th inning but it was too little too late as they would fall in game two. With the win, the Surge tied the series. 

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

Series History Lesson

As we mentioned above, the Surge and Naturals are no strangers. These two teams will open the second half of 2024 in what will be the third meeting this season as the teams are knotted at 7 wins a piece entering Thursday. The Surge hold the edge all-time, 41-37, over the Naturals, including a narrow 19-18 leads in games played at Riverfront Stadium, the home of the Wind Surge. 

In 2024, the Naturals have played well on the road. Thus far the Naturals have a 17-15 record away from Arvest Ballpark. Many players are excelling on the road in their performances as well.To further the point, Gavin Cross is bating .324 on the road including 4 home runs, 13 RBI, and 16 runs.

As good as Cross has been there are others on the roster who play even better on the road. Dillan Shrum is powering through the road trips. Literally. Shrum has hit 7 of his 10 deep balls on the road this season. On the mound Anthony Simonelli has been astonishing out of the pen on the road. In his 9.1 innings pitched, Simonelli has allowed just 1 run with a 0.96 ERA and 15 Ks in over five appearances on the road. Along with Simonelli is Mason Barnett and Eric Cerentola who each are tied with the team lead with 33 strikeouts on the road. 

 Can the Naturals extend their road series record and shorten the all-time deficit?

Streaky Naturals

The starter for Thursdays game, Luinder Avila, has been hotter then the temperatures in Northwest Arkansas in the month of June. Avila, the #29 prospect for the Royals, has a unblemished, 3-0, record along with a 1.96 ERA in his 23 innings of work through four starts. In these games, the righty has struck out 28 batters with opponents batting .200 against him in his most recent starts. 

Next in the Naturals on hot strekas in Leonel Valera. The infielder has a .319 bating average along with two doubles, one triple and home run in 16 games. With this, Valera has also struck out nine times which is the lowest for any player who has played in 10 or more games in June. On top of all of these stats, Valera is 5/5 on stolen bases in June and has a five game hitting streak, the longest on the team, as well as a on-base streak of 16 games. 

The Naturals have many players on streaks and River Town is on point, or should be we say base. Town currently has a 33-game on-base streak which is the longest for any hitter on the roster this season. The powerful lefty walked, last Saturday, which would boost his OBP to 451 over the last 22 games. In this time span, Town has a .228 average with 10 strikeouts ans 22 walks. 

As we round out the streaks we look atmany players who are assisting the Naturals in stellar play. We start with the Way… Beck Way. The righty hasnt allowed an earned run over the last four appearances which has been four innings. Way has been vital for the Naturals on the mound in 2024 with powerful pitches with precision and command. 

From the bases, in addition to the above mentioned streaks, the Naturals have others who are on streaks. Javier Vaz is currently on a 13 game streak. In addition to Vaz, Luca Tresh and Tyler Tolbert both have 12 game streaks. Valera and Tolbert have also each scored runs in four consecutive games.

Whats Next?

Coming into tonights game three against Wichita, the naturals are 36-35 and 17-15 away from Arvest Ballpark. The Naturals will return home on Monday, July 1st, as they host Springfield for a three game series. 

Further reading

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