Jeison Guzman hit a long home run in the eighth inning to help secure a 10-7 win for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (29-30, 58-70) over the Frisco RoughRiders (30-30, 61-67) on Thursday night at Riders Field. The win kept the Naturals 3.5 games behind the Wichita Wind Surge for first
Jeison Guzman hit a long home run in the eighth inning to help secure a 10-7 win for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (29-30, 58-70) over the Frisco RoughRiders (30-30, 61-67) on Thursday night at Riders Field. The win kept the Naturals 3.5 games behind the Wichita Wind Surge for first place in the North Division and the final playoff spot, while the Wind Surge's Thursday win dropped NWA's elimination number to seven. Northwest Arkansas and Frisco continue their series in Frisco, Texas on Friday with a 7:05 PM CT first pitch.
The Naturals jumped out to a fast start, scoring six runs over the first two innings against Riders starter Seth Nordlin. Cayden Wallace got NWA on the board with an RBI single in the first, while Tucker Bradley's two-run double made it a 4-0 game.
Diego Hernandez bunted and Nordlin made a throwing error that allowed Javier Vaz to score, extending the lead in the second. Peyton Wilson's groundout later in the inning brought home Tyler Tolbert to extend the lead to 6-0.
The RoughRiders got a run in the bottom of the second but two more runs in the fourth put NWA's lead to 8-1, but Frisco climbed back into the game. Keyber Rodriguez homered in the fourth to make it an 8-4 game and Josh Hatcher brought Frisco within two runs with a two-run single in the fifth.
Guzman smoked a two-run shot in the top of the sixth, making it a 10-6 game and while the RoughRiders hit a blast of their own, the Naturals held on for a 10-7 win.
Mason Barnett lasted 3.2 innings in the start, allowing four runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts in a no-decision. Emilio Marquez earned his first with the Naturals, throwing 1.0 inning while allowing two unearned runs with two hits and two walks, striking out two.
Noah Murdock earned a hold after 2.0 innings with a run on one hit and a walk, striking out two. Anthony Simonelli earned a hold as well, tossing 1.1 perfect innings with three strikeouts. Anderson Paulino earned his fourth save, striking out two in a 1-2-3 ninth inning.