SPRINGDALE, Ark - After the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (1-1) had stormed back to erase a 7-0 deficit to tie the game in the sixth, Drew Jackson of the Tulsa Drillers (1-1) hit a grand slam to lift the visitor's to a series tying win in Game 2 on Thursday night. The victory for the Drillers sends the Best-of-5 Texas League North Divisional Series to ONEOK Field in Tulsa tied at 1-1.
With the game tied at 7-7, Kyle Garlick reached by way of a hit by pitch to begin the seventh inning for Tulsa. LHP Matt Tenuta then came into the game in relief of RHP Yunior Marte (0-1) for the Naturals and promptly walked Blake Gailen before allowing Erick Mejia to reach on a bunt single. Jackson stepped in with the bases loaded and launched a 3-2 pitch from Tenuta for the game-winning grand slam over the wall in left-field to give the Drillers an 11-7 lead, which was the eventual final score.
The Drillers came out firing after being held to just a run in the series opener. Tulsa plated seven runs in the first four innings to race out to a commanding 7-0 lead. The visitors plated two in the first as Matt Beaty had a RBI groundout while Garlick brought in a run on a double to left-field. Four more runs came in to score in the third as Gailen hit a two-run home run while Errol Robinson brought in a pair with a single to right. The final run in the early onslaught came on a Beaty solo homer in the fourth.
The Naturals would never quit as they began to fight back in the fourth with three runs as Nicky Lopez opened the scoring for Northwest Arkansas with a sacrifice fly while Nick Dini clubbed a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 7-3. In the fifth, the Naturals would continue their offensive ways with three more runs. Samir Duenez had a RBI single while Ryan O'Hearn reached on an error to bring home another run before Duenez came into score on a RBI groundout by Anderson Miller to make it a 7-6 game. The seven-run comeback was officially complete in the sixth as Donnie Dewees, Jr. tied the game with a sacrifice fly.
The furious comeback though would not be enough as the grand slam put the Drillers over the top in Game 2. Marte was tagged with the loss while LHP Brian Moran (W, 1-0) earned the win for Tulsa with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief.
Tonight's game concluded the games at Arvest Ballpark as this Best-of-5 Texas League North Divisional Series will now shift to Tulsa, Oklahoma and ONEOK Field tomorrow night - Friday, September 8 - as the Northwest Arkansas Naturals will take on the Tulsa Drillers (Double-A Los Angeles Dodgers) with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The Naturals will send LHP Emilio Ogando (10-10, 3.45 ERA) to the hill while the Drillers have yet to name their starter. Catch all of the live play-by-play action with the Voice of the Naturals Benjamin Kelly on KQSM - 92.1 The Ticket, at 6:45 p.m. for the Indigo Sky Casino Pregame Show leading up to Game 3 of the Texas League North Divisional Series from ONEOK Field against the Double-A Los Angeles Dodgers.
Follow the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Facebook and Twitter @NWANaturals all throughout the year by using the hashtag #NaturalPastime and #CrowntoCrown for all of our up-to-date information on Season 10 of Naturals baseball.
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The Naturals play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Ark. For more information, including statistics, ticket options, and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.