SPRINGDALE, Ark - After winning three consecutive games against Springfield, the Naturals lost momentum on Saturday night as the Arkansas Travelers (28-32) defeat Northwest Arkansas (31-29) in the series opener at Arvest Ballpark by a 10-1 final.
The visitors from North Little Rock took advantage of the middle portion of the game to build what turned out to be an insurmountable lead. The Travelers plated a run in the third on a run-scoring single by Joey Wong before scoring three runs in both the fourth and the fifth frames. Kyle Waldrop and Nelson Ward each delivered RBI singles in the fourth while a Tyler Marlette two-run home run and a RBI double by Keury De La Cruz were the big blows in the fifth to give them a 7-0 advantage.
The Naturals broke up the shutout in the fifth as Donnie Dewees, Jr. singled and scored on a RBI double by Luis Villegas ; however, Arkansas would answer a couple of innings later with three runs. Chuck Taylor led off the seventh with a solo home run over the wall in left to extend the lead back to seven runs at 8-1. The Travs then used three consecutive singles to load the bases before they plated two more with a RBI fielder's choice by De La Cruz and a sacrifice fly by Jeff Kobernus for a 10-1 lead.
Northwest Arkansas couldn't solve the puzzle that was RHP Tyler Herb (W, 5-2). The Arkansas starter was given the big lead and was efficient at limiting the effectiveness of the Naturals offense as he scattered six hits through 7.0 innings of one-run baseball. His counterpart, RHP Ashton Goudeau (L, 2-6) took the loss giving up seven runs, four earned, in 5.0 innings of work.
Northwest Arkansas will continue their long 9-game homestand with Game 2 of this 4-game set against the Arkansas Travelers (Double-A Seattle Mariners) tomorrow afternoon - Sunday, June 11 - with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m. at Arvest Ballpark. It's a KIDS EAT FREE Family Sunday with Mercy Kids Run the Bases following the game featuring Touch-A-Truck at Arvest Ballpark. The Naturals will send RHP Zach Lovvorn (3-4, 4.68 ERA) to the hill against RHP Lindsey Caughel (3-7, 5.43 ERA) of the Travelers. Catch all of the live play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on KQSM - 92.1 The Ticket at 1:45 p.m. for the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to first pitch against the in-state rivals from North Little Rock.
Follow the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Facebook and Twitter @NWANaturals all throughout the year by using the hashtag #NaturalPastime and #CrowntoCrown for all of our up-to-date information on Season 10 of Naturals baseball.
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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.