Clemens' Two Homers Helps Hooks Avoid Sweep
By Frank Novak / Northwest Arkansas Naturals
04/14/2010 12:14 AM ET

Aaron Crow made his second start as a Natural

Aaron Crow made his second start as a Natural (John Owen)

SPRINGDALE, AR- Koby Clemens had two homers, the second of which was the Corpus Christi Hooks' fourth run as the Hooks downed the Naturals 4-3 in 13 innings Tuesday night at Arvest Ballpark.


Clemens' first home run came off Naturals' starter Aaron Crow in the fourth inning, which gave the Hooks the early 2-0 lead. Northwest Arkansas would quickly tie things up in the bottom of the fourth. Ernesto Mejia led off the frame with a double and then Manny Pina's one-out RBI double drove him in to cut the Corpus Christi lead to 2-1. Pina scored on the ensuing groundout from Anthony Seratelli.


The Naturals pulled ahead by one in the sixth, giving the cushion necessary to put Crow in line for his first regular season professional win. With one out, Pina singled and then Nick Van Stratten doubled, moving Pina to third. After Hooks' starter Sergio Perez walked Seratelli, he was lifted in favor of Henry Villar. Villar got Paulo Orlando to ground into a fielder's choice, which scored Pina to put the Naturals ahead and moved Van Stratten to third. But Hooks' catcher Brian Esposito gunned down Orlando attempting to swipe second, ending the threat.


Crow allowed six hits and two runs in his six innings of work. The right-hander walked one batter and struck out five. Perez was charged with three runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out two. Both ended up with no-decisions.


After Blaine Hardy tossed two scoreless innings of relief, Brandon Sisk was brought on for the ninth. He walked German Duran to start the inning, but got Marcos Cabral to ground into a double play. Hooks' manager Wes Clements then elected to have David Cook pinch hit for the catcher Esposito, a gamble which paid immediate dividends. Down to their final strike, Cook lifted the 1-2 pitch just over the left field fence to tie the game up.


Hooks reliever Danny Meszaros managed to get out of a two-on, two-out situation in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. Sisk set the Hooks down in order in the tenth and the Naturals stranded a runner in scoring position again in the bottom of the frame. In the 11th, it was the Hooks that got a runner into scoring position, but he too was left stranded. Ben Swaggerty (0-1) came on for the 12th inning and set down the Hooks in order, but allowed the leadoff homer to Clemens in the 13th to break the 3-3 tie and help Corpus Christi (4-2) avoid the sweep.


Matt Nevarez came on in the bottom of the frame and set down Northwest Arkansas (4-2) in order. That made a winner of T.J. Burton (2-0), who had pitched three scoreless innings of relief.


The Naturals will have Wednesday off as they head to San Antonio to begin a six-game road trip that will see them play three games against the Missions followed by three games at Corpus Christi. Thursday night, right-hander Mario Santiago (0-1, 6.23 ERA) will look to rebound from his rough debut last Friday night as he opposes right-hander Simon Castro (1-0, 0.00 ERA) for the Missions. Castro is the second-best prospect in the San Diego Padres' system according to Baseball America. Game time is 7:05 P.M. and you can listen to it live on ESPN 92.1 The Ticket.


The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. The Naturals have a toll-free ticket hotline (1-877-444-2637) for fans to purchase Naturals tickets. Our website, offers fans the opportunity to purchase tickets online and avoid lines at the ticket windows by printing their tickets at home or at the office.