The Tulsa Drillers closed out their 2016 season Monday night with a 10-4 loss to Springfield before 5,310 fans at ONEOK Field. The Cardinals scored in three straight innings to overcome an early Drillers lead. The loss leaves Tulsa with a 68-71 season record.
Tulsa was eliminated from a chance at post-season play four days ago. Springfield will now prepare to begin the North Division Playoff Series on Wednesday by hosting Northwest Arkansas.
The Drillers took an initial lead in the season finale by scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Willie Calhoun singled and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Kyle Farmer.
The Cardinals erased the lead by scoring in three straight innings, beginning with a two-run second. Three consecutive singles produced the first run before the Redbirds took the lead on a double-play grounder from Alex Mejia.
They added two more runs in the third. An RBI single by Blake Drake brought home the first run before a sacrifice fly by Jacob Wilson made it 4-1.
Springfield padded its lead with three runs in the top of the fourth. Jeff Malm struck out the first two batters of the inning before Vaughn Bryan singled and Drake drew a walk. Harrison Bader followed with his 16th homer of the year to increase the Cardinals lead to 7-1.
The Drillers got their second run in the bottom half of the fourth when Farmer drew a leadoff walk and scored on a double-play grounder from Lars Anderson.
The third run came in the fifth when pitcher Josh Sborz drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a double by Tim Locastro. Alex Verdugo plated Sborz with an RBI grounder that made it 7-3.
The Cardinals added their eighth run in the seventh inning before adding a pair of runs off Lars Anderson in the ninth. It was the first pitching appearance of the season for the first baseman/outfielder.
Tim Locastro closed out the scoring in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI single. It was Locastro's third hit of the game.
The crowd for the finale increased the season attendance total at ONEOK Field to 366,734. It marks the seventh straight season that Tulsa's attendance has topped 366,000 fans at the downtown stadium. They are the seven highest attendance totals in the 100-plus year history of professional baseball in the city of Tulsa.
The Drillers will now enter the seven-month off-season. They are currently scheduled to open the 2017 season on April 6 at Midland, Texas. They will play their home opener at ONEOK Field the following week by hosting the RockHounds on April 13.