The 2012 baseball season was a memorable one for the Tulsa Drillers. The season culminated with the first-ever playoff action at ONEOK Field, but there were plenty of highlights before the month of September.
Two near no-hitters and a franchise best 9-game winning streak topped the list of key events. Below, we look at some of the more memorable games from an exciting season of Drillers Baseball.
April 5 - In San Antonio in the opening game of the 2012 Season, Josh Rutledge led off with a home run and Tulsa never looked back on the way to its first victory. Edwar Cabrera threw 6 innings and allowed 1 run while striking out 6 San Antonio Missions. Tulsa - 7 San Antonio - 2.
April 12 - Drillers 2012 Home Opener - Cabrera suffered his first loss of the season but pitched well in the game. The 2 runs he allowed were just enough to edge the 1 run that Tulsa was able to muster against highly touted Keyvius Sampson of San Antonio. Tulsa - 1 San Antonio - 2.
April 14 - Tulsa-native Parker Frazier made his much anticipated debut at ONEOK Field and was able to pick up his first victory of 2012. A five-run fourth inning powered the Drillers to their sixth win of the season. Four Tulsa players doubled in the game (Rutledge, Arenado, Paulsen, Mitchell), and Coty Woods closed out the win for second save of the season. Tulsa - 5 San Antonio - 3.
April 17 - Cabrera led the Drillers to a win on what was nearly a historic night at ONEOK Field. The lefty threw 8 perfect innings against Corpus Christi before allowing a single to the first batter in the top of the ninth inning, preventing him from throwing the first perfect game in Drillers history. Tulsa - 4 Corpus Christi - 0.
April 30 - The Drillers won a record 18th game in the month of April with a 3-2 walk-off victory. Mike Zuanich homered in the bottom of the ninth to drive in all three Tulsa runs and cap off the record setting month. The previous best April record for the Drillers was 16-8 by the 1989 squad that featured future major league stars Sammy Sosa, Juan Gonzalez, and Dean Palmer. Tulsa - 3 Springfield - 2.
May 20 - Tulsa defeated Springfield 3-2 to snap a season-worst 6 game losing streak. The Drillers also had a 6-game losing streak in the end of June. A crazy 3-run eighth inning which saw Rutledge and Arenado both score on the same wild pitch gave the Drillers the victory. Tulsa - 3 Springfield - 2.
May 25 - Nick Schmidt lowered his season ERA to 2.95 with a fantastic outing against Frisco. Schmidt threw 7 innings and allowed only 2 hits but did not factor in the decision. He did however get recognized by the Texas League for his efforts and earned Pitcher of the Week honors. Tulsa - 4 Frisco - 3.
May 31 - Tulsa lost 10-4 to Frisco but ended May in first place in the Texas League's North Division, a spot it held every day of the month despite an 11-17 May record. Tulsa - 4 Frisco - 10.
June 1 - The Drillers dropped a game in walk-off fashion to the RoughRiders in Frisco. Coty Woods gave up his first run of the season after throwing 23.1 scoreless innings to begin 2012. The loss dropped his record to 3-1 and left him with a 0.39 ERA. Tulsa - 3 Frisco - 4.
June 8 - The largest crowd to ever watch a Drillers game at ONEOK Field witnessed Tulsa drop a 5-1 contest to the Springfield Cardinals. The paid attendance total was 8,707. Tulsa - 1 Springfield - 5.
June 11 - Tulsa defeated NW Arkansas 6-0 to earn a huge win in the midst of a first-half playoff race. Corey Dickerson made his Drillers debut after being called up from Single A Modesto and made an immediate impact. He homered in his second at-bat and made his presence in the Tulsa lineup felt from day one. Tulsa - 6 NW Arkansas - 0.
June 16 - The Drillers defeated the Arkansas Travelers to clinch the Texas League North Division first-half Championship. The 3-1 victory assured Tulsa of a playoff appearance for the first time since 2007. Tulsa - 3 Arkansas - 1.
June 27 - Edwar Cabrera was rewarded for his brilliant first half of the season with a call up to the majors by the Colorado Rockies. Facing the Washington Nationals in his MLB debut, the lefthander allowed 5 earned runs in only 2.1 innings to earn a loss. Cabrera went on to make one more start for the Rockies before finishing the season with Triple A Colorado Springs.
June 28 - Tulsa hosted the 2012 U.S. Cellular Texas League All-Star Game at ONEOK Field. The game and festivities were filled with some of the top talent in the entire minor leagues. A sellout crowd of 8,047 witnessed prospects such as Jurickson Profar, Jonathan Singleton, Kolten Wong, Jean Segura and game MVP Oscar Taveras. The Drillers were represented in the game by Lars Davis, Nolan Arenado, Josh Rutledge, Ben Paulsen, Nick Schmidt, Dan Houston, Coty Woods, and Josh Sullivan. Houston started the game in front of the home crowd and Schmidt picked up the victory in a well-played game that was decided on a home run from Taveras. North Division - 3 South Division - 1.
July 13 - Josh Rutledge was called up to make his MLB debut with the Rockies against the Philadelphia Phillies. The shortstop continued his strong play, doubling in his first career at-bat off of former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee. Josh also singled, hit a sacrifice fly, and walked in his debut. His stong debut season has many experts making him the favorite to play in the middle of the Rockies infield alongside Troy Tulowitzki in 2013.
July 14 - Tulsa scored five runs in the top of the 17th inning to end the longest game of the season. Joe Gardner worked six, shutout relief innings to collect the win in a game that took 5 hours 44 minutes to complete at North Little Rock's Dickey-Stephens Park. Tulsa - 7 Arkansas 2.
August 24 - Tulsa hosted the Arkansas Travelers as well as Rockies stars Troy Tulowitzki and Jason Giambi. An 8-2 loss spoiled the first game of the rehab assignments for both of the big leaguers in front of a sellout crowd of 8,230. It was the Drillers 11th and final sellout of the 2012 season at ONEOK Field. Tulsa - 2 Arkansas - 8.
August 30 - Tulsa starter Josh Outman nearly made team history when he came within one strike of throwing the first 9-inning, complete game no-hitter in Drillers history. With 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth and 2 strikes on Texas League Player of the Year Oscar Taveras, Outman allowed the first hit of the game on a soft liner to centerfield. Mike Marbry relieved Outman and retired the next batter to complete an 8-run victory of the Drillers. Tulsa - 9 Springfield - 1.
September 3 - Tulsa defeated NW Arkansas to match a franchise record with its ninth straight win. A solid outing on the mound from Dan Houston, combined with great production from the Drillers lineup helped cap off the winning streak with a 7-4 victory. Tulsa - 7 NW Arkansas - 4.
September 6 - Josh Outman delivered his second straight dominant performance against Springfield to lead Tulsa to its first-ever playoff win at ONEOK Field. The Drillers defeated the Cardinals 3-0 to even the Texas League North Division Series at one game apiece. Tulsa - 3 Springfield - 0.
September 9 - The Drillers season came to a disappointing end on a sunny, Sunday afternoon as they lost Game 5 of the North Division playoff series in Springfield. Tulsa finished the year with an overall record of 77-67 (75-64 in the regular season). A total of 11 different players played for both the Drillers and the Rockies during the season. Tulsa - 1 Springfield - 3.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.