See-saw battle goes to NaturalsBianchi's two-run double breaks second tie
SPRINGDALE, AR - Jeff Bianchi and Rey Navarro provided two RBI's each and Manauris Baez, making a spot start, pitched six solid innings as the Naturals beat Corpus Christi 5-3 Sunday night in front of 8,683 fans, the fourth largest crowd in Arvest Ballpark history.
Bianchi's two run double in the bottom of the seventh was their only hit of the inning as they took advantage of a costly throwing error by Hooks' reliever Arcenio Leon (1-1). Leon, on in relief of Corpus Christi starter Xavier Cedeno, who had allowed three runs over six frames, walked Jamie Romak to start the seventh. Ninth-place hitter Mario Lisson followed and dropped down a bunt to the third base side of the pitching mound that Leon had to spin around and scoop. His throw went wild of first baseman Jimmy Van Ostrand's glove as Lisson reached and Romak moved to third. Derrick Robinson followed and popped a bunt attempt out in a failed squeeze attempt, and Christian Colon popped up for the second out.
Anthony Seratelli, who came on in the fourth for Wil Myers who departed after fouling a ball sharply off his left foot in his second at-bat, drew a walk to load the bases and bring up Bianchi, who split the wickets between left and center field, bringing in two runs to break the 3-3 tie.
Reliever Manauris Baez started for the Naturals (3-8, 38-40) and turned in a nice outing, settling down even after getting behind 2-0. The Hooks (5-6, 30-51) got their second inning run on a leadoff homer by J.D Martinez, a cannon shot that landed in the center field batters eye. Jonathan Villar's RBI single in the third put them up 2-0.
But the Naturals would come and tie things up in the fourth. Bianchi singled and Nick Francis followed with a double. Salvador Perez then hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Bianchi and cut the Hooks' lead to 2-1. Rey Navarro's ensuing RBI groundout tied the game.
Baez did not factor into the decision but kept the Hooks off the board from there through six frames. He yielded five hits and the two runs while issuing just one walk and fanning five.
The Naturals took a sixth inning lead on an RBI single by Navarro that scored Perez who had hit a two-out double. But the Hooks jumped back with a run in the seventh on an RBI single from Jon Gaston to get their starter Cedeno off the hook and tie the game at three.
That came off of Naturals' reliever Kevin Chapman (1-0), who settled down to limit the Hooks to the lone run and turned things over to hard throwing reliever Henry Barrera, who pitched 1 1/3 scoreless for his first save on the season.
The series and homestand conclude on Tuesday night, as Chris Dwyer (2-8, 6.16) is set to start for the Naturals against right-hander Jonnathan Aristil (3-6, 5.88). Game time is 7 P.M. and you can catch the action live on ESPN 92.1 The Ticket.By Frank Novak / Northwest Arkansas Naturals, 07/04/2011