The Tulsa Drillers completed one of their most solid weeks of play this season as they strung together four-straight road wins to finish the week 5-2 and improve their second half record to 11-4. Thanks to two rainouts last week in Tulsa, the Drillers had to play two double-headers this weekend, winning three of the four. The Drillers are now just one-half of a game behind Northern Division leading Northwest Arkansas.
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 Wilin Rosario. James Darnell followed with a fifth-inning solo homer that tied the game at 1-1.
Tulsa regained the lead when Charles 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.
Tuesday, July 6: Rainout – The Drillers were not able to play for the second time in four days, as heavy rains drenched downtown Tulsa. Since the game was the last scheduled meeting between the Drillers and Missions in Tulsa the game was made up as part of a double-header in San Antonio yesterday. All tickets for Tuesday’s game may be exchanged for any future home game depending on availability.
Thursday, July 8: Drillers 2, Hooks 1 – Christian Friedrich earned his second-straight win of the season in his second-straight dominating performance. Friedrich struck out 12 Corpus Christi batters while allowing just four hits and one run through seven innings of work. In his last two starts, Friedrich has struck out a total of 21 batters and has allowed only three runs.
The Hooks grabbed an early lead in the second when Marcos Cabral drove in David Cook to score. Matt Repec tied the game in the fifth on a solo homer that sailed over the left field fence. Tulsa grabbed the lead and eventually secured the win when Kiel Roling reached home on a two-out double by Warren Schaeffer.
Friday, July 9: Double-header game 1; Drillers 2, Hooks 1 – Tulsa looked to take advantage of the struggling Corpus Christi Hooks and they eventually did after starting pitchers Keith Weiser and Jeremy Johnson pitched four scoreless innings. Rosario provided the only offense that Tulsa would need when he belted his team-leading 12th homer in the top of the fifth. His two-out homerun also drove in Bronson Sardinha to give Tulsa a 2-0 lead.
Corpus Christi managed to score one run in the top of the sixth inning, but Tulsa held on to secure the seven-inning win. Weiser improved his record to 6-5 on the season, lasting six innings while striking out three batters and allowing five hits and one run. Stu Pomeranz picked up his eighth save of the season as he pitched a perfect seventh inning.
Double-header game 2; Drillers 7, Hooks 2 – Corpus Christi responded quickly in the second game of the evening when Jack Shuck led off the bottom of the first with a homerun to put the Hooks up 1-0. The lead lasted only a few minutes as the Drillers answered back in the top of the second to tie the game 1-1 when Radames Nazario plated Roling on a line drive single to right field. Roling claimed the lead for the Drillers in the top of the fourth on a solo homer, but the Hooks tied it up in the bottom half of the inning on a sacrifice grounder that scored Jhon Florentino from third base.
Tulsa took control in the late innings of the contest, scoring five unanswered runs to secure the win. Billings improved his record to 7-5 as he struck out three while allowing just one hit and one run through two innings of relief work. Chris Malone picked up his third save of the season, as he did not allow a hit or run through the final two innings.
Saturday, July 10: Drillers 12, Hooks 6 – Both teams’ bats were burning in the final meeting of the series, as the two squads combined to score 18 runs and 23 hits. The Drillers got on the board early and the rout was on as they held a 10-0 lead heading into the final inning where the Hooks scored all of their runs in a last-ditch effort. The Drillers put six two-out runs on the board in the fourth inning to break the game wide open.
Blackmon and Jason Van Kooten led the charge for Tulsa with three Rbi’s each. Greg Reynolds won his third game of the season in a brilliant performance, allowing three hits and no runs through six innings. The loss marks Corpus Christi’s franchise record 16th in a row.
Sunday, July 11: Double-header game 1; Missions 2, Drillers 1 – San Antonio pitcher Jeremy Hefner, an Oral Roberts product, nearly pitched a no-hitter, but a late-inning rally by the Drillers ruined his hopes. With a 2-1 lead in the seventh, Blackmon doubled to break up Hefner’s effort. Sardinha then singled to center field to drive in Blackmon and score Tulsa’s only run of the night.
The Drillers came close to tying in the final inning when with two outs, Schaeffer singled to move Roling to third base. However, the rally would come up short when Lars Davis struck out swinging to strand Roling and Schaeffer on the corners. Brandon Durden was credited with his sixth loss of the season as he allowed three hits and two runs through six innings.
Double-header game 2; Drillers 4, Missions 1 – The Drillers found themselves in the same position in the second game of the night, down by one run in the final inning. This time Tulsa broke through and scored four runs to pull out the win. Van Kooten tied the game when Craig Italiano walked Johnny Bowden with the bases loaded.
Roling scored to put the Drillers ahead 2-1 on a wild pitch before Sardinha blasted a pinch-hit single to left field that plated Repec and Bowden. Pomeranz came on in the bottom half of the inning and retired the Missions in order to seal the come from behind win. Malone picked up the win to even his record at 2-2 on the season.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Drillers will close out their series at San Antonio with games on Monday and Tuesday before returning to Tulsa for a four-game series with Arkansas that begins on Thursday.
Monday, July 12 at San Antonio, 7 p.m.; Tuesday, July 13 at San Antonio, 11 a.m.; Thursday, July 15 vs. Arkansas, 7 p.m. (Thirsty Thursday presented by St. Francis Health Zone and Star 103.3); Friday, July 16 vs. Arkansas , 7 p.m. (Fireworks Friday, Jamaican Me Crazy Night, Strike Out Hunger! presented by K95.5 FM and the News on 6); Saturday, July 17 vs. Arkansas, 7 p.m. (Drillers beach blanket giveaway); Sunday, July 18 vs. Arkansas, 6 p.m. (TTCU Family FUNday Sunday, Super! Splash! Day! presented by TTCU the credit union and 101.5 La Preciosa).
Texas League North: Northwest Arkansas (12-4), Tulsa (11-4), Arkansas (6-10), Springfield (5-9).
Texas League South: Frisco (13-3), Midland (7-8), San Antonio (7-9), Corpus Christi (1-15).
Average: Bronson Sardinha (.313). Hits: Daniel Mayora (67). Doubles: Daniel Mayora (21). Triples: Anthony Jackson (4). Homeruns: Wilin Rosario (12). RBI: Ryan Harvey, Jason Van Kooten (36).
Wins: Bruce Billings (7). ERA: Scott Rice (0.96). Saves: Stuart Pomeranz (9). Strikeouts: Cory Riordan (74).
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.