San Antonio, TX - After going 3-4 against Arkansas and Corpus Christi in the Tulsa Drillers long ten-game road trip, they made their last stop in San Antonio on Friday night to open up a three-game series against the Missions. After playing a tight game for most of the way, the Tulsa bats came out big in the ninth inning to secure a 5-1 victory for the Drillers.
With Springfield also winning, the Drillers still sit one game behind them in the Texas League North Division. San Antonio holds the league's best record at 68-49.
The Drillers got the scoring started in the top of the third. With one out in the inning, Drew Jackson and Errol Robinson both walked to start the threat. Missions catcher Webster Rivas then allowed Jackson to reach third by attempting to pick him off at second. Jackson then preceded to steal home on the back end of a double steal to put Tulsa on top 1-0.
Tulsa would add to its lead in the top of the fourth. With two outs, Johan Mieses launched his 12th homer of the season to extend the Drillers lead to 2-0.
Drillers starting pitcher Scott Barlow was cruising through the first four innings and had not yet surrendered a hit. The bid ended in the bottom of the fifth when Nick Schulz homered on the first pitch he saw in the inning, cutting the Missions deficit to 2-1.
The long ball would be the only hit that Barlow gave up, as he sat down the next three Missions in order. His night ended after pitching five strong innings, giving up only the solo home run while striking out six.
It would be up to the Tulsa bullpen the rest of the way to preserve the lead. Michael Johnson replaced Barlow in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs and a runner at first, Rivas singled to Mieses in center. Javier Guerra then attempted to score on the play, but was gunned out at home by Jackson relaying to catcher Sean O'Connell for the final out of the inning.
Layne Somsen was the next one out of the Drillers pen, and replaced Johnson in the bottom of the seventh. Ty France led the inning off with a single to put the tying run on base. After getting an out, O'Connell allowed a passed ball, letting France get to second.
Somsen stuck out the next batter to get the second out, and then O'Connell allowed his second passed ball of the inning bringing the tying run to third. But with a full count, Somsen got the strikeout to get out of the inning with the lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Somsen gave up a single, and then recorded his third strikeout of the game. Brian Moran was called upon to get the final two outs of the inning, and he did just that to keep the Drillers in front 2-1.
The Drillers broke out and got a few insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Yusniel Diaz led the inning off with his third double. After the next two batters flew out, O'Connell drew a walk. The Drillers then racked up three straight RBI singles by Garrett Kennedy, Jackson, and Robinson to extend the Tulsa lead to 5-1.
Corey Copping came in for the bottom of the ninth with a comfortable lead and looked to finish the Missions off. Despite allowing a walk, he got the final three outs of the night and secured the 5-1 victory for the Drillers.
The Drillers will face the Missions on Saturday night in the middle game of the series. Yadier Alvarez (0-0, 2.84 ERA) will take the mound for Tulsa and will face Enyel De Los Santos (8-4, 4.02 ERA) of the Missions. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM in San Antonio.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.