North Little Rock, AR-The Arkansas Travelers survived numerous late rallies to hold off the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at Dickey-Stephens Park. The Travs never trailed in the game but saw the Naturals get the tying run into scoring position in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Both teams struggled with runners in scoring position the entire day. Northwest Arkansas went 1-11 en route to stranding 11 runners for the game while Arkansas was just 1-9 and left nine men on base. Both teams' starters, Johendi Jiminian for Arkansas and Scott Blewett for Northwest Arkansas, worked 5.1 innings and threw 95+ pitches on a sunny 85 degree afternoon and each allowed only one earned run.
Moments That Mattered
* Naturals' first baseman Samir Duenez dropped a chest high throw with two out in the second inning allowing a run to score and prolonging the inning. The next two hitters came up with hits and the Travs led 2-0.
* Leading 3-1, Matt Tenuta came out the Trav bullpen to get a pair of flyouts and strand the tying runs on base in the sixth inning.
* In a one-run game, the Naturals opened the eighth with consecutive singles to put the tying run and third and go-ahead run at first but Tenuta struck out Duenez on three pitches and then Matt Festa recorded back-to-back pop outs to preserve the lead.
* Festa retired the first two batters of the ninth inning only to see Northwest Arkansas load the bases on two singles and a walk. But Festa caught Nick Dini looking to end it.
Notable Travs Performances
* LF Chuck Taylor: 2-4
* SS Chris Mariscal: 2-4, run
* CF Braden Bishop: 2-3, BB, 2 SB
* Johendi Jiminian: Win, 5.1 IP, 4 H, R, 2 BB, 4 K
* Matt Festa: Save, 1.2 IP, 2 H, BB, K
Game three of the series is Monday night at 7:10 with free train rides all night long on the Travelers Express. RH Nathan Bannister (2-1, 6.20) goes for the Travs against LH Emilio Ogando (2-2, 6.00) for the Naturals. The game will be broadcast on the Sports Animal 920, the First Pitch App, TuneIn radio and milb.tv.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.