NWA Week in Review: July 22-28

Brady Singer saved the week when he get the win for the Naturals on Sunday. Up to that point, the Naturals were winless in five games and finished 1-5. The last few weeks have been a blur for me because we finished up our summer season in Ohio on the road and then debriefed and traveled everything back to SW Missouri. So I didn’t get to watch Naturals baseball as much as I like. But now that I’m home, I’ll be able to take advantage of those season tickets we bought again for this year and boy am I excited to go watch Singer and Kowar pitch. I hope to get some more Lee in there as well but he may be moving up sooner than later.

On Monday last week, the Naturals finished their series at Amarillo losing walk off fashion in extra innings. It was a particularly heartbreaking loss because the Naturals scored three in the top of the 11th before giving up four in the bottom. Cancel served as the DH in this game while Featherston was at second and Merrell was at short. DJ Burt was in left field and went 2-5 with 2 RBI. Emmanuel Rivera had the top day going 4-5 with 2 doubles and a run. Featherston had a single and double while Anderson Miller homered. Nick Hutchins caught and had a hit.

Signer started this game for the Naturals and went 6.0 innings while allowing just 1 earned run. He gave up 4 H, 2 BB, and had 7 strikeouts. Zuber blew the save giving up 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th. Holden Capps took the loss.

From Amarillo, the Naturals had Tuesday off and traveled home to start a three games series against Corpus Christi. They were outscored 30-9 in the series and got swept. On Wednesday, they played the series closest game losing by a score of 3-1. Gerson Garabito threw 6.0 scoreless innings giving up just 2 H and 2 BB. He also had 5 strikeouts. Garabito is a name you aren’t hearing enough about. He throws two different change ups, a curve, and fastball and is working in the mid-3s with his ERA. He probably gets moved to Omaha before either Singer or Kowar. He also might be a guy that needs to be protected in the Rule 5 Draft this year. He will more than likely go to the Arizona Fall League to gauge where he is.

Merrell was on base with a double and walk and ended up stealing both second and third. Heath stole his 49th base of the season in this one and Lee stole his 41st. Lee was 0-1 but worked 3 walks. It’s also worth noting Cancel played first base in this one as he has started to do that a little more.

The scores just kept getting worse in this series with Thursday’s being 9-2. Let’s talk about the offense first. The Naturals had a five total hits. Heath had the only extra base hit, a double. The Naturals struck out 15 times.

Cancel made two errors at first base which did not help as Conner Greene gave up 8 runs, only 2 earned in 3.2 innings. Greene gave up 6 hits and walked 2. He struck out 3. JC Cloney threw the rest of the game going 5.1 innings out of the pen giving up 1 run on 6 hits, 4 walks, and 4 Ks.

Friday, Ofriedy Gomez worked 5.0 innings giving up 4 ER on 8 H, 1 BB, and 7 strikeouts. Capps gave up 3 in his inning and Franco Terrero and Andrew Beckwith combined to give up 11 ER while getting 2 outs in the 8th inning. By the way, this game was 4-3 after the 6th. Zuber finished the inning and threw the 9th with no incidents. The final score was 18-6.

Heath stole his 50th base of the season. Merrell had 2 hits and stole a base. Cancel was back to his customary second base and 3 hits and his 9th stolen base on the season. Lee was 0-2 but worked 2 more walks. Rivera had a hit. Freddy Fermin had 3 hits. He has been quietly playing well at NWA this year. And DJ Burt, playing left again, had a hit.

Saturday was Kowar’s start. He went just 5.0 innings allowing 4 ER on 7 hits and 2 walks. He did have 9 strikeouts of the 15 total outs he recorded. Emilio Ogando had a great outing in relief going 4.0 innings and giving up just 2 hits while striking out 6 with no walks. Unfortunately, the offense wasn’t able to score any runs and the Naturals got shut out 4-0. Cancel stole two bases in this game giving him double digits with 11 on the season. Cancel is still on his way to recording a 20-20 season. He already has 17 home runs and 23 doubles. He was at second base in this game.

Sunday I already told you Singer started and got the win 3-1. Singer went 6.1 innings giving up 1 run on 5 hits, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts. Cancel homered and doubled in this game giving him the aforementioned totals. Rivera, Lee, and Feathston all had two hits in this game as well.

The Naturals finish their series against Amarillo at home before heading to Tulsa for a four-game series starting Thursday. The league has Wednesday off this week.

Picture from a win earlier this year. I took it but I don’t remember what game it was.

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