SPRINGDALE, AR – The Northwest Arkansas Naturals fell behind by four runs in the second inning and could not come back, dropping Wednesday’s game to the Frisco RoughRiders 9-2 at Arvest Ballpark.
Naturals starting pitcher T.J. Sikkema started strong, retiring the first five he faced before running into trouble with two outs in the second inning. Frisco put six straight batters on with two outs to score four runs and jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Sikkema faced the minimum over the last 10 batter he faced, as he retired the RoughRiders 1-2-3 in the third and had baserunners erased with a fourth inning pickoff and fifth inning double play.
C.J. Eldred followed Sikkema and surrendered three runs between the sixth and seventh innings, before handing the ball off to Jonah Dipoto. Dipoto allowed his first three batters to reach in the seventh, capping a four-run frame. Dipoto settled down to retire his next four batters, including striking out the side in the eighth inning.
Walter Pennington only needed nine pitches to get through a scoreless ninth inning, but the Naturals could not overcome the large deficit.
The first three hits of the night for Northwest Arkansas were all doubles, from Tyler Gentry in the first, then back-to-back doubles from Robbie Glendinning and John Rave to plate a run in the fourth, at the time to bring the Naturals within three runs.
A pair of walks, Jake Means’ second single of the night and a sacrifice fly from Tyler Cropley added a run to the board in the bottom of the ninth, but Northwest Arkansas could not rally for any more, in the seven-run loss.
Jon Bowlan heads to the mound Thursday for Northwest Arkansas, as he’ll try and get the Naturals a win to take the lead in the series, with a 7:05 p.m. CT first pitch at Arvest Ballpark.
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