Andy Ferguson continued his best season at Class AA Northwest Arkansas while also keeping the Naturals in the race for the Texas League North Division second-half title on Sunday in Tulsa, Okla.
Ferguson, a Benton native who pitched at Arkansas State, pitched six shutout innings and struck out five in the Naturals' 3-0 victory over the Tulsa Drillers at ONEOK Field, while holding the Drillers to two hits.
Ferguson (9-9) lowered his ERA to 3.10, seventh best in the Texas League, after he had a 5.16 ERA while splitting his time between the bullpen and the rotation last year for Northwest Arkansas. On Sunday, he gave up a single in the second and third innings and held the Drillers hitless in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings while out-pitching Tulsa starter Christian Bergman.
Bergman held the Naturals scoreless through five innings before Ethan Chapman led off the sixth with a home run, his first of the season.
The Naturals went in order in the seventh and eighth innings before adding two insurance runs in the ninth. Cheslor Cuthbert hit a one-out single, then Orlando Calixte hit a home run to left field, his 10th of the season, to make it 3-0 and help the Naturals earn a split of the four-game series.
Northwest Arkansas begins a six-game homestand Tuesday against Corpus Christi, trailing Arkansas by four games with 27 games remaining in the season.
Sports on 08/04/2014
Print Headline: Ferguson leads Naturals in shutout