Naturals Avoid Sweep By Pounding Hooks Pitching - South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Naturals Avoid Sweep By Pounding Hooks Pitching

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Corpus Christi (kiii sports)- Jorge Bonifacio drove in four runs and Cheslor Cuthbert had four hits as Northwest Arkansas busted Corpus Christi 12-5 Thursday at Whataburger Field before 5,246.

Naturals starter Jason Adam (7-10) struck out seven over six innings and allowed six hits. The Hooks went through five pitchers as Northwest Arkansas totaled 19 hits.

Whit Merrifield roped the night's first pitch to left for a double off Nick Tropeano and continued around the bases on a sacrifice bunt by Orlando Calixte and Bonafacio's sacrifice fly to deep center.

The Hooks weren't down for long. Preston Tucker's drive found the right-center field gap and Max Stassi picked him up from the keystone with a hit up the middle.

Northwest Arkansas manufactured a run in the second. Lane Adams drew a one-out walk on five pitches and the center fielder pilfered second before cruising home when Rey Navarro laced a liner into right-center.

Stassi's two-out double sent Tucker home once again as Corpus Christi tied the contest at 2 during the next frame.

Juan Graterol undid the knot in resounding fashion, his third home run lifting the Naturals to a 5-2 advantage. Graterol's shot followed consecutive singles from Navarro and Mitch Canham to begin the fourth.

Tropeano (6-8), who lasted another inning, was responsible for eight hits, three walks and six strikeouts.

His relief, Alex Sogard, yielded two in the sixth, Bonifacio's single the run producer.

Calixte's one-out triple highlighted a five-run, five-hit, one-error eighth against T.J. Geith. Bonifacio, Adams and Cuthbert recorded RBIs; two runs scored when shortstop Ronny Torreyes booted a grounder.

Domingo Santana belted a two-run homer for Corpus Christi in the eighth. Teammate Matt Duffy's first Double-A home run capped the night.

Tucker has hit in six straight.

At 28-19, the Hooks are a game off the Texas League South Division second-half lead. San Antonio, a 7-2 winner over Arkansas, stands 29-18. Corpus Christi has already secured a playoff berth as first-half champion.

Hooks veteran Ross Seaton (3-1) draws the pitching assignment against Arkansas Friday night at 7:05. The Travelers counter with Lay Batista (4-8). It's San Antonio Spurs Night at Whataburger Field and fans enjoy Bud Light Friday Fireworks postgame.

--CC Hooks

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