The Drillers won an offensive showcase by overcoming a seven run Hooks lead in Corpus Christi on Friday night to win by a final score of 10-9. The Drillers were down 8-1 at the end of the third inning, but a six run fourth inning and a three run sixth inning powered the Drillers to their third win of the year.
The seven run deficit was the largest of any Drillers game thus far in the young 2014 season, yet the Drillers were able to overcome it.
Corpus Christi's offense did not waste any time in putting runs on the board. The Hooks got to Tulsa starter Jon Gray for six runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Leadoff man Delino DeShields opened the bottom of the first with a single, and shortstop Nolan Fontana followed with a soft fly that fell in for another single, putting runners on first and second.
Andrew Aplin, on a very close call, singled on a sacrifice-turned-single bunt to load the bases with no outs. Cleanup hitter Matt Duffy then brought home the game's first three runs in the ensuing at-bat with a bases-clearing double down the left field line.
Preston Tucker would be the fifth straight man to reach base in the inning after lining a base hit to center field, bringing home Matt Duffy. Enrique Hernandez, the next batter, would add two more runs on a fly ball home run that carried over the left field wall.
Gray would retire the next two batters, but could not get out of the first inning, as manager Kevin Riggs brought in reliever Ryan Arrowood after Gray allowed his seventh hit of the inning to Tyler Heineman.
The Corpus Christi offensive outburst extended the Drillers' season-long streak of not scoring first in a game to eight games.
Tulsa would get one back in the top of the third after a Delta Cleary Jr. two-out double was followed up with a Taylor Featherston RBI singled.
But after the Hooks added two additional runs in the bottom of the third on a Tyler Heineman double that scored MP Cokinos and Leo Heras, the Drillers seemed to be headed toward their fourth straight loss, trailing 8-1 after three innings.
However, the Drillers finally found the offensive explosion they had been looking for this season.
Brian Humphries got things started in the top of the fourth with a triple on a ball that ricocheted off the right-center wall. Humphries would score when Harold Riggins grounded out in the next at-bat, bringing the deficit back to six.
Tyler Massey then reached base with a bunt single and moved to second when Tim Smalling was hit by a pitch. Jared Simon singled to bring home Massey and put runners on the corners.
Delta Cleary Jr. narrowed the Hooks lead to four when he singled in the next play to bring Jared Simon home, which would be the final pitch for Corpus Christi starter Matt Heidenreich.
Andrew Robinson would come in the game in relief, but could not slow the Drillers offense so easily. After Taylor Featherston reached first on a throwing error by Matt Duffy, Christhian Adames smacked a ground-rule double to the left-center gap, scoring Delta Cleary Jr.
Dustin Garneau followed suit with another double, scoring Featherston and Adames and narrowing the Hooks lead to 8-7.
Nelson Gonzalez pitched a scoreless fifth inning for the Drillers after Ryan Arrowood pitched a scoreless fourth.
The Drillers offense came to life again in the sixth inning. A throwing error and walk by new Hooks pitcher Thomas Shirley put Delta Cleary Jr. and Taylor Featherston on base. Christhian Adames then loaded the bases while beating out a play at first base on a bunt single.
With bases loaded and no outs, Dustin Garneau notched his third and fourth RBIs of the night on a hard hit grounder to left field. Later in the inning, Adames scored on Harold Riggins' ground rule double to give the Drillers a 10-8 lead.
The Hooks would manufacture a run in the bottom of the sixth when Leo Heras reached base on a fielding error by Christhian Adames and eventually scored Nolan Fontana's ground out, bringing the score to a slim 10-9 Drillers lead.
From there on out, though, zeros would fill the scoreboard. Kraig Sitton came in to relieve Nelson Gonzalez in the seventh inning and pitched a perfect 1 and 1/3 innings.
Closer Scott Oberg retired the side in the top of the ninth while striking out two and registering his first save of the season.
The 10-9 victory was a much needed win for the Drillers, who snapped a three-game losing streak and reached double digit runs for the first time this season.
The dramatic seven run comeback was one of the largest comebacks in Drillers history.
The Drillers will close out the series in Corpus Christi on Saturday night before heading to San Antonio for another three-game series. Drillers starter Tyler Anderson will take on Corpus Christi's Brady Rodgers.