Travs Win Thriller over Drillers in Playoff Opener

Joseph Odom delivers the winning hit with two out in the ninth

The team mobbed Joseph Odom after the winning hit. (Bentley Reynolds)

By Arkansas Travelers | September 5, 2018 11:32 PM

North Little Rock, AR-Game one of the Texas League North Division Series was a memorable one with the Arkansas Travelers winning 5-4 over the Tulsa Drillers in walk-off fashion. Joseph Odom smoked a base hit past the third baseman to score Joey Curletta and Kyle Lewis with two out in the ninth to finish off the dramatic victory. Arkansas had the early lead thanks to homers from Eric Filia and Kyle Lewis but trailed late after Tulsa's Keibert Ruiz, the #37 ranked prospect in baseball by mlb.com, blasted a two-run homer in the eighth to put the Drillers on top. The Travs bullpen was pressed into extended duty on the night after starter Williams Perez left the game in the second inning with an injury. Perez was struck by a line drive on his pitching arm, on what turned out to be the second out of the inning and left the game after being examined. Four relievers covered the final 7.1 innings with none of the five hurlers throwing more than 36 pitches on the night. Wyatt Mills worked a scoreless ninth inning to earn the win.

 

Moments That Mattered

* Filia set the tone with his two out homer in the opening inning. The blast to right field off Tony Gonsolin carried 421 feet.

* With the score tied in the fourth, Lewis put the Travs back on top with a two-run homer into the right field corner.

* Matt Tenuta struck out league home run leader D.J. Peters with the tying and go-ahead runs on base to end the top of the fifth.

* Keibert Ruiz hit his go-ahead homer in the top of the eighth off Nick Rumbelow following a leadoff walk.

* Joey Curletta singled to open the bottom of the ninth putting the tying run on base. Two batters later, Lewis singled moving Curletta to third. Lewis then stole second base as Yonathan Mendoza struck out for the second out of the inning. The steal put not only the tying but also winning run in scoring position, setting the stage for Odom's winning hit with two out.

 

Notable Travs Performances

* 1B Joey Curletta: 2-4, 2 runs

* CF Kyle Lewis: 2-4, 2 runs, SB, HR, 2 RBI

* C Joseph Odom: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI

* Matt Tenuta: 2.1 IP, H, BB, 4 K

* Wyatt Mills: Win, IP, H, 2 K

 

Up Next

Game two of the series is set for Thursday night at 6:10. Left-hander Anthony Misiewicz (3-12, 5.51) starts for Arkansas against lefty Ben Holmes (2-2, 2.82). It is a Thirsty Thursday with $2 GA tickets and $2 each for beer, soft drinks, peanuts, popcorn and cracker jacks at the concession stands. The game will also be broadcast on the Sports Animal 920, the First Pitch App, TuneIn radio and milb.tv.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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