SAN ANTONIO, Texas – A night after an emotional comeback win, the Missions bats turned cold as the club fell to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 3-2.
Missions starter Jesse Scholtens allowed a pair of runs – one aided by a wild pitch and a passed ball by catcher Webster Rivas, and another on a solo home run by rehabbing All-Star Salvador Pérez. After allowing the dinger to Pérez to lead off the third, he retired the next twelve batters in order. He didn’t walk any batters.
“That’s been his reputation – he can hit an ant on the rear end with his fastball,” said manager Phillip Wellman. “He started mixing it up a little bit better than he did early, but that’s the second very good start for him.”
The Missions had a few chances to do some damage, loading the bases in the third for the heart of the order. They came away with a run on a Josh Naylor single, but left the bases loaded on a Fernando Tatis Jr. strikeout (on an iffy call by the umpire) and an Austin Allen groundout. In the ninth, Ty France doubled and scored on a Kyle Overstreet single, but Mira Mesa High alum Jake Newberry entered the game and secured the Naturals win.
San Antonio Prospect Notes: In a small, ten game sample, Naylor is en fuego, slugging an even 1.000. Almost as exciting as him tapping into his in-game power is his ability to get on base. He has more walks (7) than strikeouts (5), and showed a keen eye at the plate. He took a lot of borderline pitches Sunday and earned a pair of walks for his efforts.
Naylor and Allen started in left field and first base, respectively. Though new to those positions, they fared well, though they weren’t tested too strenuously.
In two starts, Scholtens has combined to notch 14 strikeouts against one walk. Early on, he struggled getting hitters to chase and hitters were able to put balls into play, but as his command improved, he was able to put them away with his off-speed and breaking pitches. His fastball was 88-94 MPH.
Tatis Jr. was 0-for-4 on the day with a pair of strikeouts. His swing is smooth and repeatable, but he chased a few high fastballs that he couldn’t catch up to. In ten games he has a 30% strikeout rate and has yet to draw a walk.