SPRINGDALE, ARKANSAS (JULY 5, 2014) - Orlando Calixte blasted a three-run home run to break a tie in the seventh inning and for the first time in 370 days, the Frisco RoughRiders lost a game in the state of Arkansas with a 7-3 defeat at the hands of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Saturday.
Calixte's moon shot came off RoughRiders starting pitcher Alec Asher (7-7), who took the loss and allowed six runs on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Asher's outing began on the wrong foot when the Naturals loaded the bases with three singles to open the first inning. A sacrifice fly, an RBI single from Hunter Dozier and an RBI groundout scored all three runners and put the 'Riders in a 3-0 hole.
Despite the initial hardship, Asher buckled down and allowed one base hit over the next five frames.
In the meantime, the batters clawed the RoughRiders back into the game in spite of a strong outing by Northwest Arkansas starter Christian Binford (1-0).
Binford made his career debut at the Double-A level and did not allow a hit against the top offense in the Texas League until Jake Skole singled in the sixth.
Skole later scored on an RBI groundout to short off the bat of Guilder Rodriguez to make the score 3-1 Naturals. It was the first time in the last ten games the 'Riders failed to score first.
The RoughRiders built on this momentum and attacked Binford again in the seventh. Joey Gallo dropped the second successful bunt of his career to put two runners on with no outs.
After a sacrifice fly from Chris Grayson, a double from Jake Skole tied the game at 3-3.
The home run from Calixte came after Asher intentionally walked Lane Adams to avoid the Texas League player of the month in June and set up a force at either first or second base.
In the eighth inning, Dozier drilled a solo home run off reliever Francisco Mendoza to put the game out of reach.
With the loss, Frisco (48-36; 8-7) falls to 9-1 in the state of Arkansas this season, the team's first loss in the Natural State in 370 days.
Northwest Arkansas (33-53; 8-8) snaps the RoughRiders' four-game winning streak and moves to 4-6 against Frisco this season.
Frisco's six-game road trip in the Natural State continues against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Sunday at 6:05 p.m. Coverage begins at 5:40 p.m. CDT with the Frisco RoughRiders Pregame Show on www.ridersbaseball.com.
The 'Riders next return to Dr Pepper Ballpark on Wednesday, July 9 to begin a four-game series with the Corpus Christi Hooks. For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.