SPRINGDALE, Ark. - Andy Ferguson went seven innings for Northwest Arkansas (12-12, 37-57) but the Naturals dropped game two of the four-game set 6-4 to the Tulsa Drillers (10-14, 48-45) at Arvest Ballpark on Monday night. Ethan Chapman drove the Naturals offense collecting three hits for the third time this season, including a double. He also scored three of the club's four runs and stole his eighth base of the season.
Ferguson (6-8) allowed four runs, but just three were earned, through his seven innings of work suffering the loss. He allowed two runs during the first frame but settled down to toss three scoreless innings after that. Tulsa got to him for another in the fifth and the seventh before he exited the contest. The right-handed starter has accumulated a lot of innings for the Naturals since the beginning of June having tossed at least six innings in each of his last eight starts, including three seven-inning performances and his season-long seven and two-thirds inning start on June 18 against Arkansas.
Northwest Arkansas was held scoreless until the fifth frame. After the score remained stagnate at 2-0 through the first four innings, the Naturals and Drillers traded runs in the fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings leading to a 6-4 final. Chapman led off the fifth inning with a bunt single and was eventually brought in on a one-out single by Orlando Calixte.
Following a scoreless sixth, each club tallied a single run in the final three innings. In the seventh, Angel Franco singled home Chapman, who had reached on his second hit of the evening. Hunter Dozier led off the eighth with his fourth double of the season and would come in to score aided by a balk and a wild pitch.
In the ninth, it was Chapman yet again as part of his big night as he led of with a double for his third hit of the game. The third wild pitch of the contest for Tulsa and a groundout allowed him to score the fourth and final run for the Naturals.
Calixte and Dozier each picked up two hits on the night collecting nearly half the team's base knocks, Northwest Arkansas ended with nine hits.
The Drillers would come out on top of the back-and-forth contest as Cole White picked up his seventh save after allowing Chapman to score. Southpaw Carlos Hernandez (3-4) earned the win tossing six innings of one-run baseball.
Northwest Arkansas will look to grab to series lead tomorrow, Tuesday, July 15, by sending RHP J.C. Sulbaran (6-6, 3.10) to the mound on Arvest Two for Tuesday presented by Arvest Bank at 7:05 p.m. Sulbaran has been very good against Tulsa this season as he carries a 2-1 record with a 1.84 ERA against the club. The Drillers have yet to announce a starter.
You can catch all live play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on your home for the Naturals 92.1 the Ticket at 6:50 a.m. Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to first pitch.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The Naturals play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Ark. For more information including statistics, ticket options, and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.