The Tulsa Drillers closed out the first half of the 2010 Texas League season this past week with a road trip that took them from Northwest Arkansas to Springfield, Missouri. The second half of the Texas League season has already started, and the Drillers are one-and-a-half games back of North Division leading Northwest Arkansas. Tulsa currently owns a 2-2 record as they look towards the all-star break and beyond in hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.
Monday, June 21 – Naturals 8, Drillers 6: Both teams combined for 13 runs and 18 hits in the first three innings, but Northwest Arkansas held Tulsa scoreless for the final six innings to pull off the two-run win. The Drillers entered the bottom of the third inning with a three-run lead, before the Naturals scored four runs in the bottom of the inning to claim a 7-6 lead. Northwest Arkansas tacked on an extra insurance run in the eighth inning on a Manuel Pina solo homerun.
Keith Weiser claimed the loss, dropping his record to 5-5 on the season. Weiser allowed 11 hits and seven runs through three innings while striking out two batters. Aaron Crow picked up the win for the Naturals, allowing seven hits and six runs through five innings of work.
Tuesday, June 22 – Naturals 5, Drillers 4: A 13-inning marathon tilted the home team’s direction in the bottom of the thirteenth inning when Johnny Giavotella singled to left field to drive in the winning run. For the second-straight night Tulsa held a three-run lead heading into the bottom half of the third inning. Northwest Arkansas answered back with three runs of their own to tie it up.
The Naturals took a one-run lead in the fifth inning when Pina hit his second solo homer in as many days. The Drillers battled back to tie the game 4-4 when Lars Davis scored on a fielding error. Reliever Stu Pomeranz was saddled with the loss when he gave up the game-winning run in the final inning. The game marked the end of the first-half of the Texas League season.
Wednesday, June 23 – Naturals 12, Drillers 10: Tulsa fell short in a high-scoring game that saw both teams combine for 24 hits and 12 runs. A seven-run seventh inning wiped out a six-run deficit, giving the Drillers a one-run lead. Jason Van Kooten led off with eighth homer of the season to spark the Tulsa rally.
Unfortunately for the Drillers, the Naturals countered with a three-run eighth inning to regain the lead for good. Jeff Howell hit the game winner on a home run to left field that plated Anthony Seratelli and Tim Smith. Ching Lung Lo picked up the loss, allowing two runs in two and one-third innings of work.
Thursday, June 24 – Drillers 12, Naturals 7: Tulsa’s offense was on fire in the series finale with the Naturals, and for the first time in the series they held on to a lead to claim a win. The Drillers were sparked by a four-run fifth inning that allowed them to pull ahead by three-runs. Charles Blackmon got things going for Tulsa with a home run over the center field wall that drove in Warren Schaeffer.
Scott Beerer later doubled to left field to score Bronson Sardinha. Beerer then reached home on a sharp line-drive to center field by Daniel Mayora. Greg Reynolds picked up his first win of the season, lasting five innings while allowing five hits and three runs. Ryan Harvey went two-for-five on the night with two homers for Tulsa.
Friday, June 25 – Drillers 6, Cardinals 5: Reliever Scott Rice worked out of a jam in the eighth inning, silencing a comeback effort from the Springfield Cardinals and allowing the Drillers to hold on for a one-run win. Tulsa held a 6-2 lead entering the bottom of the fifth when Springfield began to slowly chip away at the deficit, eventually pulling within one. With runners on the corners and one out in the eighth, Rice buckled down and retired the final two batters after allowing Aaron Luna to reach on a fielder’s choice.
Bruce Billings picked up his team-leading sixth win of the season, allowing six hits and three runs while striking out two through five innings. Rice was credited with the save as he allowed only one hit and struck out three-of-five batters faced. Beerer added a solo homer in the third inning while Billings was money in the batters box once again, going two-for-three with one RBI.
Saturday, June 26 – Cardinals 12, Drillers 9: Tulsa’s bats were active once again, as they scored nine runs on nine hits, including four round-trippers. Wilin Rosario belted two homers in the third and seventh innings while Sardinha smashed his second of the season in the eighth inning to score two. Harvey added his team-leading eleventh of the season on a solo shot in the second inning.
With the good, however, sometimes comes the bad. Springfield’s bats were also loaded as they kept pace with Tulsa and eventually pulled ahead for good thanks to a five-run seventh inning. Lo picked up his second-straight loss during the contest, dropping his record to 1-3 on the season. Weiser was pulled after five innings of work, as he allowed eight hits and six runs while striking out six.
Sunday, June 27 – Rainout. Game to be made-up as part of a double-header on Tuesday, July 20 at Springfield.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Everyone throughout the Texas League will get a well deserved rest over the next few days, as the focus shifts on the 2010 Texas League All-Star Game that will be held in Midland on Wednesday. Five Drillers will participate in the game. Billings, Weiser and Rice will see time on the mound while Mayora and Rosario were named reserves to the North Division team. Jeff Kindel was named to the team but will miss the game due to an elbow injury.
The Drillers return home for a six-game homestand on Thursday when they will host a three-game set with Corpus Christi. San Antonio arrives in T-town on Independence day for a three-game set to close out the homestand. Tulsa will then make return trips for three-game sets at Corpus Christi and San Antonio next week.
FINAL FIRST HALF STANDINGS
Texas League North – Northwest Arkansas (42-28), Springfield (38-32), Tulsa (29-40), Arkansas (26-44).
Texas League South – Frisco (38-31), Corpus Christi (36-34), Midland (35-35), San Antonio (35-35).
Texas League North – Northwest Arkansas (4-1), Tulsa (2-2), Arkansas (2-3), Springfield (1-3).
Texas League South – Frisco (5-0), San Antonio (3-2), Midland (2-3), Corpus Christi (0-5).
Average: Charles Blackmon (.292) Hits: Daniel Mayora (64) Doubles: Daniel Mayora (20) Triples: Jason Van Kooten, Anthony Jackson, Daniel Mayora (3) Homeruns: Ryan Harvey (11) RBI: Ryan Harvey (34).
Wins: Bruce Billings (6) ERA: Scott Rice (0.99) Saves: Craig Baker, Stu Pomeranz (5) Strikeouts: Cory Riordan (64).
Thursday, July 1 – Thirsty Thursday, Drillers Independence Bash presented by Tulsa’s GenX 106.1. Friday, July 2 – FRITOS Family Friday, Fireworks Friday / Drillers Independence Bash presented by FRITOS and KRMG AM 740 and FM 102.3. Saturday, July 3 – The Famous Chicken Appearance, Drillers Independence Bash, jersey and cap auction, Drillers Idol! presented by Cox, Celebrity Attractions and 98.5 KVOO. Sunday, July 4 – Fireworks/ Drillers Independence Bash, Strike out Hunger!, kids play catch on the field, jersey and cap auction presented by River Spirit Casino, 98.5 KVOO, The News on 6.