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Naturals' Offense Fueled By Cardinals Errors For 6-5 Victory

Posted: April 24, 2014 at 5 a.m.

Staff Photo ANTHONY REYES Whit Merrifield of the Northwest Naturals celebrates a two-run home run against Springfield on Wednesday at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale.

SPRINGDALE -- Northwest Arkansas made sure Springfield paid double for its mistakes Wednesday afternoon.

The Naturals scored two runs for each time the Cardinals made an error, and that proved to be enough scoring for a 6-5 victory before its biggest crowd of the season at Arvest Ballpark.

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS 6, SPRINGFIELD 5

Springfield^000^101^300^—^5^5^3

NW Arkansas^200^040^00x^—^6^6^1

Gaviglio, Ferrera (6), Miranda (8) and Stanley; Selman, Arguelles (6), Triggs (7) and Morin. W - Selman, 1-1. L - Gaviglio, 1-3. Sv-Triggs (1). HRs - Springfield, Diaz (3); Northwest Arkansas, Merrifield (2).

At A Glance

Texas League Standings

North Division

Team^W-L^GB

Springfield^9-10^—

Tulsa^9-10^—

Arkansas^8-11^1

Northwest Arkansas^6-13^3

Wednesday’s Scores

Northwest Arkansas 6, Springfield 5

Arkansas 1, Tulsa 0

Today’s Games

Springfield at Northwest Arkansas, 7:05 p.m.

Tulsa at Arkansas, 7:10 p.m.

It started when Cheslor Cuthbert hit what appeared to be a ground ball to start a double play in the first. Instead, a bad throw to second by Springfield shortstop Luis Mateo allowed Lane Adams to score from second, giving Northwest Arkansas (6-13) a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

"We talk about when a team gives you extra outs, how you take advantage," Naturals manager Vance Wilson said. "It's kind of that football mentality of the next man up, and the next man has to do the job. Again, we harp on we need to compete to win, and the guys did it."

Two Springfield errors resulted in a four-run outburst in the fifth as the Naturals built a 6-1 lead. Whit Merrifield belted a two-run home run to left field one out after Parker Morin reached on a throwing miscue, and Lane Adams scored when he stole third and Cody Stanley's throw went into left field.

Short Hops

• Naturals starter Sam Selman threw five innings and allowed just a sacrifice fly and two hits, matching his April 11 outing against Frisco. The left-hander, who pitched college baseball at Vanderbilt, struck out four and lowered his ERA to 2.45.

• Adams finished the game with three stolen bases, giving him five this season. His steal of third in the fifth was part of a double steal with Jorge Bonifacio after both of them had drawn walks from Springfield starter Sam Gaviglio (1-3).

• Jared Schlehuber had a pair of RBI singles, both coming after a Springfield error allowed another Natural run to score, and raised his batting average to .213 this season.

Extra Bases: Wednesday's attendance -- bolstered by several schools bringing children to the game for Kids Day -- was announced at 7,756, almost 2,000 more than the crowd for the season opener. ... It marked the second time this season that the Naturals have won back-to-back games. ... Cuthbert was replaced at the plate by Juan Graterol after picking up two strikes in the eighth. Wilson said it was a precautionary measure after Cuthbert "rolled" a glove end finger while diving for a ball in the seventh. ... Andrew Triggs pitched the final 2 1/3 innings and picked up his first save of the season, allowing just one hit.

Royals Pipeline: Matt Tenuta threw seven shutout innings Tuesday night and earned the victory in Class A Lexington's 4-3 decision over Hickory. Tenuta (2-1), a 6-foot-4 left-hander, allowed just five hits and struck out two in his fourth start and his longest out outing of the season. He also lowered his ERA to 1.09.

On Deck: The Naturals and the Cardinals conclude their four-game series with a 7:05 p.m. game today. Right-hander Andy Ferguson (0-1, 5.56 ERA) will start for Northwest Arkansas, while Springfield counters with lefty Jonathan Cornelius (1-2, 5.94).

Today's Promotion: It's Buck Night on Thirsty Thursday, where fans can purchase small fountain drinks and a number of concession stand items for only $1.

On The Air: KQSM-FM 92.1

On The Web: www.nwanaturals.com

Sports on 04/24/2014

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