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Naturals win…walk-off and shut-out style

September 6, 2010

Springdale, AR – Last night’s walk-off win and today’s shut-out victory by the Northwest Arkansas Naturals over the Tulsa Drillers provided a dramatic ending to the Texas League regular season. The Naturals clinched the North Division second-half title Sunday evening and eliminated the hopes of the Drillers playing in the post-season. Today the Naturals arms and bats were too much for the Drillers to handle. A great way to end the regular 140 game season and regroup for the play-offs. The Springfield Cardinals, Double-A team of the St. Louis Cardinals, will be hosted by the Naturals on Wednesday evening at Arvest Ballpark to open the post-season series.

Naturals website

Sunday night Eric Hosmer doubled in the winning run via Johnny Giavotella to break the 3-3 score and decide their play-off opponent. Hosmer was not alone with a multiple hit effort. Manuel Pina and Tim Smith also had multiple hit contributions for the Naturals. There were plenty of foiled chances to pick up more runs, but the most important plate occurred in the bottom of the ninth in front of a sold-out crowd at Arvest Ballpark.

Paulo Orlando woke up the Naturals bats with a leadoff HR (13) to offer starter John Lamb a 1-0 lead. Clint Robinson picked up another hit last night to further his chances of the Texas League batting title. I’m sure the Naturals hope to continue their offensive surge into the play-off opener at home this coming Wednesday.

John Lamb (2-1, 5.45, 10-7, 2.38) worked scoreless frames into the 4th inning when 2 runs were plated by a series of Drillers hits. Lamb reached his 85 pitch count limit with runners on and two outs in the fifth. Ben Swaggerty came in from the bullpen to get a quick out and complete the line on Lamb. With the score at 2-2, Lamb was not on any hook for a loss but now left to simply watch his teammates from the dug-out. Barry Bowden picked up the win during his two scoreless innings of work. The dramatic finish in the bottom of the 9th was clearly captured on photo by the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and John Owen.

Photo credit - John Owen

Nothing beats a picture like this to see why they really play…to be bigger boys.

Today, the Naturals had a shut-out performance by their pitching staff and productive bats including the continued stellar season by Clint Robinson. Eduardo Paulino (8-5, 4.04) got the win with Patrick Keating, Enrique Barrera and Brandon Sisk also added to the shut-out ending of a great regular season.

Derrick Robinson (.286) and Clint Robinson (.335) had the only Naturals multiple hit day at the ballpark. Robinson earned the Triple Crown in the Texas League with his steady hands and eyes during the entire season. I bet there are plenty of smiles in the Robinson household and we look forward to meeting them at Kaufman Stadium, later this month. The Naturals out slugged the Tulsa Drillers, Colorado Rockies Double-A team, with 11 hits to win 9-0 and earn a single day off before taking on the Springfield Cardinals, Wednesday evening.

Congratulations to the Naturals for a fantastic season…now go get the Texas League hardware before you clear out your lockers!

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2 Comments
  1. Ron Eppes permalink
    September 6, 2010 20:13

    7 Ks! Looks like he’s making some good adjustments. I was thinking how strange it must be for you, James, to no longer be in the decision loop with John’s baseball career. I’m not saying you should be involved, just as a dad with a son playing high school sports (in my case he runs track and cross country, which I don’t understand much at all!), we talk about how much he runs, his aches and pains, his training, etc. Not that I can offer much running advice, but I do try to protect his health by trying to keep him from over training, using proper shoes, etc. Anyway, it’s a rambling way of it, but it would seem strange to not really be involved in those discussions. Go Royals and look forward to seeing if John will be called up next September (or sooner!)

  2. September 7, 2010 09:10

    Ron,

    It is tough, at times, to be on the outside during his career, but it comes with the territory. I am extremely happy to have a good relationship with him off the field and enjoy those simple talks outside of baseball.

    John has experienced a solid season and we remain hopeful he continues to make the adjustments during this journey for another call to climb the ladder. Glad to know that some more baseball lies ahead before his return home for the off-season.

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