SPRINGDALE - Tyler Heineman's three-run triple in the eighth inning Saturday night spurred Corpus Christi to a 7-4 triumph opposite Northwest Arkansas in the series opener at Arvest Ballpark.
The Naturals (16-31) struck first against Mike Hauschild. Edinson Rincon belted a lead-off home run to left in the third, giving Northwest Arkansas a short-lived 1-0 lead.
Preston Tucker leveled the score in the fourth by crushing a 3-0 pitch from Tim Melville onto the berm in right for his 11th home run of the season. Later in the frame, Leo Heras and Heineman worked two-out walks, setting the stage for Telvin Nash's RBI single to center.
The home team pulled ahead in the fifth thanks to a lead-off double by Mark Threlkeld. Rincon was next and sent an infield knock to third. Matt Duffy's throw got past Nash at first, allowing Threlkeld to score and Rincon to take second base. One out later, Ethan Chapman served a single down the right field line to put the Naturals ahead 3-2.
Hauschild was charged with three runs (two earned) on six hits over five innings. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
Travis Ballew allowed the first two to reach in the sixth but induced a 6-4-3 double play to keep the Naturals off the board.
Angel Baez entered in relief of Melville and tossed three scoreless frames for Northwest Arkansas. Baez gave way to Cody Fassold who was not as effective.
Duffy opened the eighth with a single and moved to second when Tucker coaxed a free pass. Joe Sclafani put them in scoring position with a sac bunt to third base. Chris Epps was inserted as a pinch hitter and worked the count to 2-0. Northwest Arkansas then elected to walk Epps intentionally, brining Heineman to the plate.
Fassold (1-1) fell behind the switch-hitting catcher 3-1 before Heineman ripped a line drive over the head of Chapman racing toward the alley in right. His second triple of the year cleared the bases and handed the Hooks (26-22) a 5-3 lead. Delino DeShields, Jr., pushed a squeeze bunt up the first-base line to cap the four-run rally.
Nolan Fontana scored an insurance run when Joe Sclafani beat out an infield hit with two away in the ninth.
Troy Scribner (2-0) worked around a solo shot by Orlando Calixte to pick up his second victory.
Andrew Robinson retired all four batters he faced en route to the save (2).
The series continues Sunday night when Corpus Christi lefty Luis Cruz (4-4, 3.19) takes on J.C. Sulbaran (1-3, 3.69). First pitch 6:05.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.