North Little Rock, Arkansas - Jayson Langfels provided the go-ahead home run in the 11th inning leading the Tulsa Drillers to a 4-3 victory over the Arkansas Travelers on Thursday night at Dickey-Stephens Park. Langfels whacked a leadoff dinger providing the winning runs for the Drillers for the second night in a row and sending the Travs to their sixth loss in seven games.
With a second half record of 15-12 the Travs remain in first place in the North Division by a game over both Northwest Arkansas and Springfield, while the Drillers at 12-15 draw within three games.
Tulsa collected 16 hits for the second time in a week against Travs pitching but left 11 runners and went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position. The Travs managed just six base hits including two doubles from designated hitter Robbie Widlansky and a single and double from Drew Heid.
Matt Oye and Christian Bergman matched up on the mound and both allowed three runs in seven innings. Oye mostly got around ten base hits while walking two and adding four strikeouts. Bergman allowed six base hits and no walks while striking out three.
Tulsa took advantage of Oye's first walk, a one-out pass to Joey Wong, in the first inning to strike first. Kyle Parker's groundout moved Wong to second and he scored when Kiel Roling hit a double to left field.
Widlansky hit his first double leading off the second inning and was bunted to third base by Kaleb Cowart. Travis Witherspoon delivered the game-tying sacrifice fly.
Dustin Garneau broke the tie with a solo home run (7) in the fourth inning, which Langfels followed with a single. After advancing on a groundout by Delta Cleary, Jr. Langfels scored from second base when Jaron Shepherd beat out a ground ball to shortstop for an infield single giving the Drillers a 3-1 lead.
Taylor Lindsey collected his lone hit of the night with one out in the sixth inning with a single to right field. C.J. Cron followed with a shot that deflected off Bergman behind second base where Angelys Nina dropped a flipped ball from Wong. Widlansky then hit a high bouncer over Roling at first base and down the right-field line for a double that scored Lindsey and set up Cowart with runners at second and third. Cron streaked for the plate on Cowart's ground ball to Nina at second base and scored just ahead of the throw to tie the game, at 3-3. With the Travs seemingly in position to take the lead with runners at first and third and one out, Cowart was caught stealing second base and Witherspoon bounced out to the mound to leave the go-ahead run at third base.
Cowart and Witherspoon were the beginning of a stretch of 15 Travs batters that made outs in a row. Bergman gave way to Joe Gardner for the eighth and ninth innings. Meanwhile Caleb Graham and Carmine Giardina each threw one scoreless frame apiece.
Morin struck out two batters in a shutout tenth inning but Langfels ripped his second pitch of the 11th over the left field wall for the go-ahead homer.
Cole White earned the win (2-3) with two innings of work. He allowed a one-out walk to Lindsey in the 11th bringing Cron to the plate representing the winning run. However Cron bounced to Langfels at third base to begin a game-ending 5-4-3 double play.
The Travs and Drillers return to Dickey-Stephens Park on Friday night for a 7:10 p.m. game. Michael Cisco (2-4, 3.05) is on the mound for the Travs against Tulsa's Tyler Matzek (5-6, 3.42). Gates open at 6:10 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.