In whatever situation Double-A Northwest Arkansas found itself in on Friday night, Donald Dewees Jr. was able to answer the call.
The Royals' 11th-ranked prospect put together his fifth career four-hit performance and scored the winning run as the Naturals walked off with an 8-7 victory over Corpus Christi at Arvest Ballpark. Dewees tripled, doubled, singled twice and drove in three runs.
Gameday box score
The 23-year-old has recorded four extra-base hits and six RBIs in two games against Corpus Christi, going 2-for-3 with a double and a two-run homer in Thursday's 9-8 win. In 72 games this season, he's hitting .268 with six homers, 37 RBIs and 41 runs scored.
"I was just staying relaxed and I saw the ball well and I got some pitches to hit," Dewees said.
Video: Northwest Arkansas' Dewees Jr. goes for three
The Florida native wasn't the only member of the Naturals lineup with four hits on Friday. Royals No. 22 prospect Nicky Lopez collected two doubles and two singles, giving him six hits in his first nine at-bats since a promotion from Class A Advanced Wilmington.
"We have a lot of talent in the lineup and a lot of guys that can really swing it," Dewees said. "It's great to have those guys around here. It's a great environment."
The Naturals got a chance to face Astros right-hander Collin McHugh as the big league veteran was rehabbing an elbow injury. Northwest Arkansas jumped on him for four runs in the first, with Dewees delivering a first-pitch single through the right side to score Zach Walters.
"I think a lot of the guys were pretty excited to get to face a big leaguer," the 2015 second-round pick said. "Usually we're pretty amped up for that. We're pretty hyped to have the opportunity to face somebody like that."
McHugh was tagged for four runs on seven hits and a walk in the first, exiting after throwing 42 pitches.
Dewees flied to center against reliever Josh James in the third before the Hooks grabbed a 7-4 lead in the fifth on the strength of Astros No. 13 prospect J.D. Davis' Texas League-leading 19th homer.
The lefty-swinging Dewees delivered a one-out base hit to right but was stranded in the fifth. An inning later, Samir Duenez followed Jack Lopez's leadoff single with an RBI double, and an error and a walk loaded the bases for Dewees with two outs. He again took a hack at James' first offering and lined a double down the line in right, scoring Duenez and Zach Walters to tie the game before Anderson Miller was thrown out at the plate on a relay from shortstop Jack Mayfield.
Through his first four at-bats, Dewees stayed aggressive in the box and saw a total of six pitches. He said his two trips to the plate with the bases full gave him a chance to be a bit of a free swinger.
"Most of my at-bats today I had guys in scoring position or runners on. When it comes down to something like that and I get hittable pitches, I take advantage of them there," the University of North Florida product said. "A lot of the time if I have nobody on or I'm leading off an inning, I'll try to work the count a little, but when there's opportunities for RBIs I do that a little less. I just lock in and find a pitch to hit."
Dewees found himself in a different type of situation with the game tied, 7-7, in the ninth. Leading off against sidearmer Ryan Thompson, he lifted the fifth pitch of the at-bat over the head of right fielder Roman Laureano and legged out his sixth triple of the season.
"I figured I wasn't going to see many fastballs," Dewees said. "I took the first one pretty much down the middle, but I was planning on taking that first one either way. Then I was kind of sitting off-speed because I knew he couldn't blow it by me. Then I battled a little bit and I finally got a pitch to hit, so I took advantage of it."
Nick Dini followed with a sacrifice fly to center to set off a celebration.
Jack Lopez singled twice and scored twice, while Duenez doubled, singled and scored twice for Northwest Arkansas.
Davis went 2-for-5 with three RBIs for the Hooks, while Astros No. 2 prospect Kyle Tucker doubled, singled and scored. No. 27 prospect Jason Martin contributed a double, single and two RBIs.