Little Rock, AR - After winning the first two of three against the Arkansas Travelers, the Tulsa Drillers looked to take the series win on Sunday night. In a back-and-forth game that had five lead changes, the Drillers came up short and were defeated by Arkansas 8-4.
At 28-16, the Drillers are tied for first place with the Springfield Cardinals in the Texas League North Division.
After a scoreless first inning, the Travelers got the scoring started in the bottom of the second. Tyler Marlette doubled to lead off the inning, and then former Driller Joey Wong knocked him in with a single to put Arkansas on top 1-0.
Their lead would not last long as the Drillers came right back to even things up in the top of the third. Shawn Zarraga doubled and then Errol Robinson walked to start the inning. Matt Beaty then stepped up and stayed hot as he knocked an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the third, Drillers starter Dennis Santana allowed a leadoff walk and then got the next two Travelers by way of a strikeout and a lineout. He then hit Marcus Littlewood, and then gave up a double to former Driller Ryan Casteel to give Arkansas a 2-1 advantage.
With one out in the top of the fifth, Beaty singled for the second time in the game. Beaty is now riding a seven-game multi-hit streak, and has hit safely in his last eleven games. He leads the Texas League with a .331 batting average.
With Beaty on first, Peter O'Brien knocked him in with a double to tie the game again. Jacob Scavuzzo then doubled to plate O'Brien and gave the Drillers a 3-2 lead.
Arkansas came right back in the bottom of the fifth. Chuck Taylor walked to start the frame, and then Kyle Waldrop doubled to put runners at second and third. Seth Mejias-Brean then singled to even things back up. After Santana struck out Littlewood, that would be the end of his night. After pitching four and a third, he gave up four runs on six hits while striking out six and walking six.
Karch Kowalczyk came in the game with runners at the corners. He promptly got Casteel to ground out which resulted in a run, then got another groundout to get out of the inning. Arkansas was back on top 4-3.
The see-saw battle continued into the sixth inning as Johan Mieses singled to get things started for Tulsa, and then Zarraga got him to third with his second double of the game. Robinson then grounded out to bring Mieses home and tied things up again at 4-4.
The bottom of the sixth is when things got away from the Drillers. With Kowalczyk still pitching, he got a groundout, gave up a single, and got another groundout. His night ended there after giving up one run and one hit over an inning and a third.
Luis Ysla came in and promptly gave up a double to Taylor to bring Arkansas back on top 5-4. The next series of events included a walk to Waldrop, and three straight singles by Mijias-Brean, Littlewood, and Casteel to give the Travelers an 8-4 lead.
Tim Shibuya and Corey Copping both pitched clean innings for the Drillers, and the Arkansas bullpen kept Tulsa scoreless the rest of the way to secure the Travelers 8-4 win.
After the off day on Monday, the Drillers will make their next stop in Corpus Christi on Tuesday night. Brock Dykxhoorn (3-5, 5.01 ERA) will take the mound for the Hooks, and will face the Drillers starter who is TBD. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.