Springdale, AR - Runs would be few and far between during Friday night's game between the Tulsa Drillers and Northwest Arkansas Naturals. After not being able to settle things through nine, the Naturals would prevail in the twelfth inning and defeat the Drillers 2-1 in a game that lasted over four hours.
Despite the loss, Tulsa out-hit Northwest Arkansas 15-10.
Josh Sborz got the start for Tulsa, and things did not look good out of the gate as Nicky Lopez led the game off with a triple for the Naturals. After getting the first out, Samir Duenez would ground out to first base to allow Northwest Arkansas to take a 1-0 lead.
The early run would be the only Naturals run until the last pitch of the game. After giving up the run, Sborz had a very successful start. He pitched five innings, gave up only four hits and struck out three.
The Drillers had plenty of opportunities for runs throughout the game, as they had runners in scoring position in five of the first seven innings. They would finally break through in the top of the eighth. Quincy Latimore and Matt Beaty both singled to start the inning, putting runners at the corners.
With an out in the inning, Darien Tubbs doubled in the tying run of the game in his first game with the Drillers after being called up from Single-A Great Lakes. The game was tied 1-1 and would eventually go to extras.
This would not be the last time Tubbs would come up big in this one. In the bottom of the eleventh with two outs and runners on first and second, Nick Dini singled to Tubbs in left. Tubbs received the ball and gunned out Duenez at home on what would have been the winning run.
After the Drillers were unable to score in the twelfth, the Naturals would get the job done. With Chris Cotton pitching, Allan de San Miguel and Lopez both singled. Cotton would then issue an intentional walk right before Duenez would end the game on a sac fly, giving the Naturals a 2-1 win.
The Drillers bullpen was not to be overlooked in this one as they were very good. Colt Hynes, Shea Spitzbarth, and Ralston Cash all combined for six scoreless innings, and only allowing four hits between the three.
The Drillers will go for the series split on Saturday night as they will face Northwest Arkansas in the series finale. Walker Buehler (2-2, 2.98 ERA) will take the mound for Tulsa and will face Glenn Sparkman (0-0, 0.00 ERA) of the Naturals. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.