Naturals win shoot out in North Little Rock
Naturals and Travelers combine for 31 runs
By Eric Gallo / Northwest Arkansas Naturals
07/23/2010 12:20 AM ET

North Little Rock, AR-The OK Corral resurfaced in North Little Rock Thursday night, as the Naturals and Travelers engaged in an offensive showdown. Fortunately for the Naturals, they came away with a 19-12 victory in a wild contest. the Naturals scored 15 runs over the final three innings.

The Travelers (10-16, 36-60) came out of the gates quick, and scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Tyson Auer and Alexi Amarista got the inning going with back-to-back singles. With one out Roberto Lopez hit into a ground out, but it was enough to score Auer for the game's first run. Jeremy Moore than scored Lopez with a single to center field. Abel Nieves followed that by reaching on a fielding error, which also allowed Nick Gorneault to score. The run put the Travelers up 3-0.

The Naturals (18-7, 60-35) tried to get back into the game with a run in the third inning. Jeff Howell led the inning off with a base hit to center, and was able to advance to second on s ingle from Johnny Giavotella. After advancing to third, Howell was able to come home when Clint Robinson hit a single to center.

The Travelers came right back in the fourth inning with a run in the fourth inning. With two outs and Amarista on base, Charlton Jimerson hit a home run over the left field wall. The two run shot was Jimerson's second home run of the season, and it put the Travelers up 5-1.

The Naturals came back in the fifth inning with three runs. Jarrod Dyson walked to lead off the inning, and a Giavotella single advanced Dyson to third. With one out, Clint Robinson hit a sacrifice fly to right field, and Dyson was able to score. Paulo Orlando followed with a base hit to center, which put runners on the corners. Jamie Romak then brought both Giavotella and Orlando home with a single to center field. The runs cut the Traveler's lead to just one at 5-4.

The Travelers offense kept going with a run in the bottom of the fifth. After Moore singled, Nieves doubled to left. Anel De Los Santos then grounded out, but it was enough to score Moore. The run extended the Travelers' lead to 6-4.

The Naturals offense roared back in the top of the seventh. Giavotella cracked his fourth hit of the game, as he led the inning off with a solo home run over the left field wall. Eric Hosmer followed with a single to short, and Clint Robinson followed with a double to center that put runners on second and third. Orlando then came through with a double to left, which brought home both Hosmer and Robinson and gave the Naturals the 7-6 lead. Romak made it three straight doubles for the Naturals, as he put his into right and brought Orlando home. After Romak advanced to third on a wild pitch, Anthony Seratelli was walked. Another wild pitch put Seratelli on second before a sacrifice fly by Tim Smith scored Romak. Howell followed with a sacrifice fly of his own, and Seratelli scored to make it a 10-6 game in favor of the Naturals.

The Naturals brought home more runs in the top of the eighth. Giavotella reached base for the fifth time, this time with a walk. A ground out by Hosmer moved Giavotella to second, and a wild pitch advanced him to third. A second wild pitch brought Giavotella home, and put the Naturals up 11-6. After Orlando and Romak reached base on walks, Seratelli brought them both home with a single to center. The runs put the Naturals even further ahead at 13-6.

The Travelers did not quit, as they got back into the game with four runs in the bottom half of the eighth inning. Carlos Colmenares and Auer both singled to start the inning. A sacrifice fly by Amarista brought Colmenares home. A two out single by Lopez brought Auer home, which made it a 13-9 game. Gorneault then brought Lopez home with a double to center field. The runs cut the Naturals' lead to just three at 13-10.

Already up three, the Naturals once again went to work in the top of the ninth. With Howell on base from a walk, Giavotella smacked his fifth hit of the game to center field, and brought Howell home. Hosmer then singled to left, which also advanced Giavotella to third. Clint Robinson then reached on a throwing error, and Giavotella was able to score. Orlando then hit a single to left, which scored Hosmer, and made it a 16-10 game. Seratelli then got back into the action with a ground-rule double that one-hopped the right field wall, and brought Robinson home of the Naturals' 17th run. Not to be out done, Smith singled to center, and both Orlando and Seratelli came home to score. The runs put the Naturals up 19-10 heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Trailing by nine, and down to their last three outs, the Travelers were in need of some runs. De Los Santos singled to lead off the inning. Amarista followed later in the inning with a two out triple, which brought De Los Santos home. Jimerson followed with a base hit to left field, and Amarista scored with two outs. The runs made it a 19-12 game, but that is where the score went final.

The two teams combined for 31 runs, and 43 hits. Six Naturals recorded multi-hit ball games, and five Naturals each had five RBI's in the game. Giavotella led the hitting going 5-fo-5 with a walk, and two RBI's for the Naturals. Jarrod Dyson was the only Naturals without a base hit.

Rowdy Hardy (2-1) came away with the victory for the Naturals. Hardy pitched three innings, gave up three earned runs, and struck out three. Edgar Osuna got the start for the Naturals, and pitched four innings. Osuna gave up five runs, two of which were earned, and struck out three in a no decision. Ben Swaggerty pitched the final inning and a third for his first save of the season.

Robert Fish (2-5) suffered the loss for the Travelers. Fish did not record an out, and gave up four runs before being pulled in the seventh inning.

With there last game of the season at Dickey Stephens behind them, the Naturals no head home to Springdale. The Naturals will open up a five game home stand with Springfield Friday night. The action gets underway at 7:00 p.m., and it will be a throwback to the 1985 World Series Friday night.

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. You can purchase tickets and group outings with the Naturals by calling (479) 927-4900.