CORPUS CHRISTI - Andy Ferguson struck out eight and allowed three hits over seven innings as Northwest Arkansas edged Corpus Christi 2-1 Sunday at Whataburger Field before 5,221.
Ferguson (3-5), who snapped a three-game personal losing streak, enabled the Naturals (19-36) to avert a series sweep as they won for the first time in six contests. Kansas City's 18th-round selection out of Arkansas State three years ago allowed one run and walked two in a 96-pitch outing (62 strikes).
Andrew Triggs notched his fourth save while striking out five the rest of the way.
Corpus Christi (29-27) converted a Delino DeShields, Jr., lead-off walk into the evening's first run. DeShields swiped two bases before Andrew Aplin's one-out, two-strike single into right field.
The singleton was more than enough for Hooks starter Kyle Smith to work with until the seventh. He retired 10 consecutive Naturals after a one-out double by Orlando Calixte in the first, striking out the side during the second. Cheslor Cuthbert drew a two-out walk two frames later and was erased on a fielder's choice. Justin Trapp and Ethan Chapman rapped two-out singles in the fifth, but Whit Merrifield whiffed to end the rally.
Mark Threlkeld began the seventh by dropping an 0-2 offering from Smith into the Hooks bullpen for the equalizer. Smith registered five hits, a walk and eight strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings and 96 pitches (63 strikes).
His relief, Michael Dimock, promptly yielded singles to Trapp and Chapman. Dimock left both stranded, getting Merrifield on a pop up to first and fanning Calixte.
Dimock (1-3) wasn't as fortunate in the eighth, serving up a lead-off single to Jorge Bonafacio before Cuthbert met Hooks pitcher No. 3, Alex Sogard, with the game-winner, a double to left-center.
The Hooks hit the road for four at Midland Tuesday through Friday before returning for a three-game series with San Antonio. Corpus Christi hosts the Missions at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, on Tuesday, June 10. The Frisco RoughRiders visit Whataburger Field June 11-14.