The second half of the Texas League season is already treating the Tulsa Drillers better than the first half did. The Drillers won four of five games this past week, improving their record to 6-3 on the second half and moving them within two-games of division leading Northwest Arkansas. Tulsa now looks to closeout a three-game set with the San Antonio Missions (5-6) before traveling to Corpus Christi for a short series with the Hooks (0-10).
Monday, June 28: Drillers 4, Cardinals 1 – Kiel Roling led Tulsa to the win by way of two hits, including a homerun, and three runs batted in. Roling’s homer came in the second inning and put Tulsa up 2-1. Roling later drove in Bronson Sardinha in the top of the fourth on a single to right field.
Matt Repec later batted in Wilin Rosario to give the Drillers a three-run lead. Cory Riordan evened his record at 4-4 on the season, while Scott Rice was credited with the save. Riordan allowed six hits and one run while striking out four through six innings of work.
Thursday, July 1: Drillers 6, Hooks 2 – Christian Friedrich was highly-regarded as one of the Colorado Rockies’ best pitching prospects entering the season. Friedrich struggled through most of the first-half of the season, but finally found his stride on Thursday, striking out nine batters while allowing four hits and two runs through six innings. Chris Malone picked up the save as he lasted three innings without allowing a hit.
Jason Van Kooten hit a three-run first-inning homer in his first game hitting in the cleanup position. Charlie Blackmon added a solo shot in the fifth inning while Sardinha had a two-run dinger in the sixth. Tulsa out-hit Corpus Christi 10-4 on the night.
Friday, July 2: Drillers 6, Hooks 3 – Corpus Christi jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but it was Tulsa that battled back to claim the win before a sellout crowd of 8,242 at ONEOK Field. Rosario jump started the comeback effort for the Drillers when he hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning. A two-out double by Roling drove in Sardinha in the sixth to tie the game.
Van Kooten moved the Drillers in front in the seventh when he hit a line-drive to left field that drove in Warren Schaeffer and put Van Kooten on second. Sardinha followed with a double that scored Van Kooten to give Tulsa a 5-3 lead. Greg Reynolds picked up the win to even his record at 2-2. Through seven innings Reynolds allowed six hits and three runs with three strikeouts.
Saturday, July 3: Rainout – The game was postponed due to heavy rain in the Tulsa area. It will be made up as part of a double-header at Whataburger Field during Tulsa’s series with Corpus Christi July 8-10.
Sunday, July 4: Drillers 7, Missions 5 – The second-straight sellout crowd (8,583) watched the Drillers once again come from behind and claim their fourth-straight win. San Antonio jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but they could not hold on as Tulsa went on to score seven unanswered runs. Daniel Mayora broke up San Antonio pitcher and Perkins, Oklahoma native Jeremy Hefner’s no-hit bid with a solo homer in the fifth inning.
Schaeffer later drove in the tying run with a base hit to right field that scored Roling. A five-run seventh inning put the Drillers ahead by five runs, before the Missions threatened with three runs of their own in the eighth inning, but were unable to tie. Ching Lung Lo was credited with the win as he allowed no hits and no runs through one inning of relief.
Monday, July 5: Missions 6, Drillers 4 – San Antonio broke a 2-2 tie with a four-run seventh inning as they went on to snap Tulsa’s four-game winning-streak. The Drillers got on the board first when Ryan Harvey scored on a fourth-inning infield single from Rosario. James Darnell followed with a fifth-inning solo homer that tied the game at 1-1.
Tulsa regained the lead when Blackmon doubled to plate Anthony Jackson in the bottom of the fifth. San Antonio then followed up with five unanswered runs through the next two innings to secure the win. Bruce Billings was saddled with the loss after allowing three hits and four runs in in the seventh inning.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Drillers will finish up their current homestand on Tuesday against San Antonio. From there the team makes return trips to Corpus Christi and San Antonio before returning to Tulsa on July 15 for a short, four-game series with the Arkansas Travelers.
Texas League North: *Northwest Arkansas (9-2), Tulsa (6-3), Arkansas (5-6), Springfield (3-7).
Texas League South: *Frisco (9-2), Midland (5-6), San Antonio (5-6), Corpus Christi (0-10).
* – Denotes first-half division winner.
Average: Bronson Sardinha (.288). Hits: Daniel Mayora (67). Doubles: Daniel Mayora (21). Triples: Jason Van Kooten, Anthony Jackson, Daniel Mayora (3). Homeruns: Ryan Harvey, Wilin Rosario (11). RBI: Ryan Harvey (34).
Wins: Bruce Billings (6). ERA: Scott Rice (0.96). Saves: Stuart Pomeranz (6). Strikeouts: Cory Riordan (74).
Tuesday, July 6: Extreme makeover night, KRAFT singles Tuesday night tickets, Reasors two dollar Tuesday presented by KRAFT Singles, Pepsi, Frito Lay and 2 News Works for You.
Tickets are available for all upcoming Drillers games are available at the ONEOK Field box office, by calling 744-5901 or online at Tulsadrillers.com.