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BASEBALL: Travs, Nats split twinbill; Witt and Pratto promoted

by ETHAN WESTERMAN SPECIAL TO | July 19, 2021 at 1:58 a.m.

SPRINGDALE -- A five-run burst of offense in the sixth inning powered the Arkansas Travelers past Northwest Arkansas 10-6 and a split in a Sunday doubleheader at Arvest Ballpark.

The Naturals claimed the first game 4-2.

After Clay Dungan hit a leadoff homer to put the Naturals up 1-0, the Travs scored the game's next five runs.

Bobby Honeyman hit a three-run shot to right-center field in the second inning to give Arkansas a lead it would not relinquish. He had four RBI.

Northwest Arkansas made things interesting in the fifth. Brewer Hicklen and Blake Perkins led off with back-to-back hits. Brhet Bewley drove in a run with a groundball, and Bobby Witt Jr. doubled to close the Naturals' deficit to 5-3.

The momentum was short-lived. Dom Thompson-Williams smashed a two-run shot that was one of five hits for the Travs in the sixth.

"We had a big inning with the top of the lineup getting some base hits," Travs Manager Collin Cowgill said. "We had some really good at-bats all game getting walks, hitting balls hard and got some big homers, too. It was a good inning for us for sure, but overall I thought the whole game we had some good at-bats."

The win came just hours after dropping a 4-2 decision to the Naturals.

"That's what this team does," Cowgill said of his team's resiliency to bounce back. "We're a group of tough guys in here. Tough losses or bad losses, not the best plate appearances, we don't let it carry over.

"The first game we had some opportunities to score some runs early in the game that we didn't. If you don't capitalize on those moments, you aren't going to win. They understand that and did a better job in the second game."

Tyler Herb earned the Travs win, tossing 4 2/3 innings and striking out eight.

"Tyler has been a stud for us all year," Cowgill said. "I thought our pitching was good and has been good. I thought Devin (Sweet) had a solid game for us in the first game too, so we're throwing the ball well. If we hit the ball a little better we might win game one, but we made good adjustments."

Daniel Tillo was given the loss for Northwest Arkansas. He pitched 1 1/3 innings and was replaced after giving up the second-inning homer. Six Naturals pitchers saw action in the losing effort.

It was announced after the game that Witt and Nick Pratto were being promoted to Class AAA Omaha. Witt, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2019 MLB Draft, was batting .292 with 16 homers. Pratto, the No. 14 overall selection in 2017, was hitting .273 with 15 homers.

In the first game, Northwest Arkansas jumped ahead in the second inning, and MJ Melendez delivered a two-run homer in the third to add some insurance.

Austin Cox earned the win for Northwest Arkansas. He pitched 5 innings, struck out 5 and allowed 4 hits.

Stephen Woods Jr. replaced Cox and gave up one run but struck out four batters in two innings of work. He escaped a bases-loaded jam to get the save.

Print Headline: Travelers rebound to split doubleheader with Nats

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