The scoring in the opener of a three-game series between the RockHounds and Tulsa Drillers started and ended on solo home runs, the last of them Sean Murphy's tie-breaking drive in the top of the ninth. Between the two solo shots, the teams combined for 17 runs on 23 hits in the RockHounds' 10-9 win at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Video: Murphy gives Midland lead
With the wind (uncharacteristically) blowing out, offense ruled the day. Of the game's 25 total hits, six were home runs (the Drillers hit four and the RockHounds two).
Conner Joe's solo drive to left in the last of the second gave Tulsa a short-lived 1-0 lead before the RockHounds busted loose for a six-run top of the third, highlighted by Mikey White's three-run, bases-loaded double. The 'Hounds held a five-run lead twice (6-1 and 7-2) before Tulsa whittled the deficit, eventually tying the game at 9-9 with a three-run rally in the eighth.
With one out in the top of the ninth, Murphy sent Daniel Corcino's first pitch out over the left field wall and Jake Sanchez, who joined the club Sunday from (Triple-A) Nashville, escaped a jam in the top of the ninth. He stuck Errol Robinson out on three pitches with the potential tying and winning runs on base.
Tulsa hit four of the game's six home runs, including a pair of solo HR's from Conner Joe. Drew Jackson had a two-run homer and D.J. Peters added a solo shot. Eli White hit his third of the season for the RockHounds to go with Murphy's game-winner.
Murphy finished 3-for-4 (double, walk, three runs, solo HR) and is hitting .323 for the season with six of his 10 hits going for extra bases (four doubles and two home runs).
Mikey White also went 3-for-4 with a walk and the three-run double in the third-inning rally. The RockHounds third baseman now has 14 RBI, sharing the league lead with San Antonio's Josh Naylor.
Eli White (2-for-5, double, two runs, solo HR, two RBI) has hit in seven consecutive games (and 8-of-9 games overall) with a .425 season average, fifth in the Texas League.
The RockHounds are now 2-2 on their (six-game) road trip and a league-best 7-3 through the season's first 10 games.
Completely Useless but Kinda Cool Stat(s)
In this case, not so "useless." Scott Hennessey took over as Tulsa manager roughly midway through last season when Ryan Garko resigned. After assuming the managerial duties, Scott led the Drillers to the Texas League Championship Series and a remarkable 20-2 home record through the end of the regular season and the North Division title series. The Drillers are now 3-1 to open the 2018 season at ONEOK Field, a combined mark of 23-3. That record makes even more remarkable the fact that the RockHounds swept the last three games of the 2017 Texas League Championship Series (at Tulsa) to win their fourth straight crown. That's as many losses as Tulsa has endured in its 26 other home games under Scott's watch.
Monday, April 16 vs. Tulsa Drillers
ONEOK Field Tulsa, Oklahoma
First pitch 4:05 p.m.
Radio: NewsTalk 550 with Bob Hards ... airtime 5:00 p.m. (in progress)
Second of a three-game series at Tulsa and fifth of a six-game road trip
(at Tulsa 4:05 Monday afternoon and 7:05 Tuesday evening)
TUL: Dennis Santana (RH, 0-1, 2.79)
RCK: Joel Seddon (RH, 1-0, 1.64)
Next at Security Bank Ballpark
Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22
vs. San Antonio Missions
Thirsty Thursday (19th), Schedule Pennants (20th), Celebration Globes (21st)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.