With a 12-1 blowout over the Northwest Arkansas Naturals this past Monday, the Arkansas Travelers ended their regular-season home stand and moved one step closer to winning the second-half of the Texas League North Division.

The Travs’ magic number is one to capture the second-half title. After Monday’s game, the Travelers owned a 37-26 second-half record and were 7.5 games ahead of Springfield with seven games left on the schedule. Arkansas began a four-game series at Springfield on Tuesday, and one victory clinches the second-half title. Also as of Monday, Arkansas was 71-62 overall which seals a winning season. Arkansas finishes the regular-season with three games at Northwest Arkansas from Saturday thru Monday.

Five runs in the first frame fueled Arkansas’ trouncing of the Naturals. Michael Roth also pitched seven scoreless innings and recorded a season-best seven strikeouts. Drew Heid and Mike Bianucci had three RBIs apiece to aid the in the scoring production.

The Travelers finished their home stand against the Naturals by winning three of four games. They split a doubleheader last Sunday, but the win did eliminate the Naturals from the second-half race.

Two Travs honored

The Texas League announced first baseman Brian Hernandez as the Player of the Week for Aug. 17-24. During the stretch, Hernandez was 12-for-23 (.522) and drove in nine runs in eight games. In the first innings, he was 5-of-5 with five runs batted in and a double. Riding a 10-game hitting streak, he presently is second in the batting race with 135 base hits and a .310 percentage.

Last week, Tyler DeLoach was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week. His performance over Corpus Christi on Aug. 15 is what garnered him the honor. In seven innings, the held the Hooks to no runs, one hit and two walks and struck out nine batters. Slated to pitch Tuesday at Springfield, DeLoach went into that contest with a 3-0 record in four attempts and a 1.90 ERA. In 23.2 innings, he has recorded 29 K’s and has given up 11 hits and nine walks.