Naturals sweep weekly Texas League awards

The Texas League on Monday announced that Northwest Arkansas Naturals outfielder Nick Van Stratten and pitcher Will Smith have been named as the league's Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively. The award reflects their performances during the period covering May 9-15.

Nick Van Stratten earns the award after a week in which he hit .444 (8-for-18) with two home runs and nine RBIs. He hit safely in all six games, and he carries a seven-game hitting streak into Monday night's game at Tulsa. On Sunday, Van Stratten capped his excellent week with a grand slam in the sixth inning of the Naturals' 8-4 win over Springfield.

On the season, the 25-year-old Kansas City native is hitting .262/.319/.447 with four homers and 19 RBIs.

Will Smith made two starts last week for the Naturals, winning both games while limiting his opponents to just one run on 11 hits in 13.0 innings pitched.

In the first game of Sunday's doubleheader with Springfield, the 21-year-old southpaw twirled a seven-inning shutout, holding the Cardinals to just four hits and a pair of walks while winning his third game of the season.

On the season, Smith is now 3-3 with a 4.46 ERA. In 34.1 innings pitched, he has fanned 18 batters while issuing nine walks.

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