A country singer named Don Williams had a hit song in the 1980's titled "Tulsa Turnaround" (also recorded by Eric Clapton, by the way, a little tip of the cap to Slowhand). Saturday night in Tulsa, the Drillers made a turnaround of their own, and it was a doozy. Trailing, 2-0, entering the last of the fifth, the Drillers sent 10 men to the plate, scoring six times, turning the game around en route to a 6-3 win.
After starter Corey Walter went four scoreless innings, Brandon Mann came on in the fifth. Over his first two appearances, the left-hander had tossed seven scoreless innings, but Tulsa would get to him for all six runs in the game-changing inning. Wynston Sawyer led off with a single to left and Paul Hoenecke's ground rule double into the right field bullpen put runners at second and third. A walk to Stetson Allie, sandwiched between two strikeouts, left the bases loaded and two out with the RockHounds' 2-0 lead intact. In the span of five pitches, Tulsa tied the game on a hit by pitch and a walk. Kyle Farmer turned an 0-2 count into a tie-breaking two-run single and Edwin Rios capped the inning with a two-run double to make the score 6-2.
The RockHounds got back to within 6-3 in the seventh on a leadoff single by Brett Vertigan (his third hit of the night), a double to right by J.P. Sportman and Viosergy Rosa's RBI ground out (the 'Hounds three runs scored on a fielder's choice and two ground outs).
Tulsa left-hander Colt Hynes, originally scheduled to start the game, went 3.1 innings for the win and Yaisel Sierra pitched the ninth to earn his first save.
The RockHounds and Drillers split their six first half meetings with each club taking two of three at home.
Brett Vertigan had a four-hit game (4-for-5, double, run, stolen base) and is now 10-for-22 (.455) for the season.
Corey Walter's four scoreless innings (third appearance, second start) bring his season totals to 11 innings, one earned run on six hit and one walk with six strikeouts (0.82 ERA, 0.64 WHIP and a .167 average).
Sunday's opener of a three-game series at 4:10 p.m. at Hammons Field in Springfield will see right-hander Matt Pearce (0-1, 3.86) take the hill for the Cardinals against the RockHounds tandem of right-handers James Naile (0-0, 0.00 in two appearances) and Grant Holmes (0-1, 4.70 in two appearances). Pearce, who makes his second start of the season, took the loss (5-1) on April 10 at Security Bank Ballpark. He went 4.2 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts. The clubs will play Monday evening at 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday morning at 11:10 a.m. to complete the three-game series in Springfield.
Next at home: Following their first road trip of the season, the RockHounds return for a four-game homestand (Thursday, April 20 - Sunday, April 23) at Security Bank Ballpark, hosting the San Antonio Missions (Padres affiliate). The series, which marks the beginning of division play, includes a "Thirsty Thursday," Schedule Pen Giveaway (Friday) and T-Shirt Night (Saturday) before concluding the series with a Sunday (Family Day) matinee. Start times are 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.