Tyler Tolbert hit his 10th homer of the season in a 6-3 win for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (27-27, 56-67) over the Springfield Cardinals (27-28, 61-63) at Arvest Ballpark on Friday night. With the win, the Naturals moved into second place in the second-half North Division standings, but remain 3.5
Tyler Tolbert hit his 10th homer of the season in a 6-3 win for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (27-27, 56-67) over the Springfield Cardinals (27-28, 61-63) at Arvest Ballpark on Friday night. With the win, the Naturals moved into second place in the second-half North Division standings, but remain 3.5 games behind first-place Wichita.
The Cardinals jumped out to an early two-run lead in the first against Naturals starter Mason Barnett, but Tolbert quickly slashed the deficit to a run in the bottom of the inning. The leadoff man whacked the first pitch he saw to left, driving it out of the park to make it a 2-1 game.
The homer was Tolbert's third to start a game this year for NWA and his 10th of the season. It was also the only hit Cardinals starter Tekoah Roby allowed.
It stayed a one-run game until the fourth, when Dillan Shrum was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to tie the game and then Javier Vaz singled to left, scoring two and giving NWA a 4-2 edge.
The Cardinals scored to make it a one-run game in the sixth, but the Naturals answered with runs in the bottom of the inning and in the eighth to extend the lead, giving them a 6-3 win to even the series.
Barnett (1-1) earned his first win with the Naturals. The righty held the Cardinals to two runs on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Noah Murdock earned a hold after an inning while allowing one run on a hit with two walks. Brad Keller continued his MLB rehab assignment and was credited with a hold, throwing two scoreless innings with a hit and a walk. Anderson Pauling cleaned up the ninth, striking out one in his third save.
The penultimate home series of the season continues this weekend with a 6:05 PM CT first pitch at Arvest Ballpark on Saturday. Fans can get their tickets at the ballpark box office or by visiting NWANaturals.com.
Saturday features an MJ Melendez bobblehead giveaway to the first 1,500 fans, presented by UNIFY Financial Credit Union.