Only 24 hours after failing to hold onto a three-run lead on opening night at ONEOK Field, the Tulsa Drillers had no such problem Friday night in front of a second-straight sellout crowd. The Drillers got a pair of second-inning home runs from Paul Hoenecke and Tim Locastro, to go along with a strong pitching performance from Tim Shibuya and a trio of relievers to post a 3-0 win over the Midland RockHounds.
The win came before a capacity crowd of 8,436. The big night increased total attendance for the first two home games of the season to 16,560. The victory evened Tulsa's season record to 4-4.
After Shibuya worked a 1-2-3 top of the first, the Drillers missed a great chance to take an early lead in the bottom of the first as they had runners at first and second with no outs, but failed to produce a run.
They atoned for the missed opportunity in the second. Hoenecke opened the inning with his first home run of the season to put Tulsa in front 1-0. Locastro increased the lead later in the frame. With two outs and a runner on first, Locastro belted his first homer of the year to give the Drillers and Shibuya a 3-0 lead.
The right-hander made sure the lead held. Shibuya limited the RockHounds to only two hits in five shutout innings.
Reliever Edward Paredes pitched a scoreless sixth inning, and Ralston Cash blanked the Hounds for two frames.
Joe Broussard wrapped up the victory with a perfect ninth inning to pick up his second save of the season.
The two teams combined for only nine hits in the quickly played game that took only 2 hours and 17 minutes to complete.
Locastro was the only Tulsa player with more than one hit, finishing 2-4 to raise his season average to an even .400.
The Drillers will conclude their series with the RockHounds Saturday night at ONEOK Field with the third and final game. Tulsa will send Colt Hynes (1-0, 3.60 ERA) to the mound, while Midland will counter with Corey Walter (1-0, 1.29 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.