After a 46-minute rain delay, the Tulsa Drillers bullpen had its work cut out for them in a back-and-fourth battle against the Frisco RoughRiders on Friday night. Despite a solid effort by the pen, after some defensive errors and a forgettable eighth inning the Drillers dropped their first game of the season, 10-5.
Starting pitcher Caleb Ferguson made his Double-A debut for the Drillers, and his night began ominously. The bottom of the first started with catcher's interference, a single, a ground out, and a sacrifice fly to give Frisco an early 1-0 lead. Following a walk and a wild pitch later in the first, Ferguson reached his inning pitch limit, ending his night.
Michael Johnson came in to get the last out of the frame, and it was up to the Drillers bullpen the rest of the way. The Drillers were forced to use six relievers and overall, they gave a solid effort.
But with the Drillers up 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth, things unraveled. After closing out the bottom of the seventh, Emmanuel De Leon started the inning by surrendering two singles, a sac bunt and five more hits as six runs crossed the plate to put the RoughRiders on top 10-5.
This would be all Frisco would need to seal the victory.
WHAT YOU MISSED
*Connor Joe had six total bases including an inside-the-park home run in the 6th inning. He crushed a ball to right center that caught the wall just right and ricocheted out of reach of the outfielders. He circled around the bases for his first homer of the season. Joe was the 39th overall pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2014 draft.
*Luke Raley notched his second RBI of the season in the third inning when he knocked in Joe.
*Jacob Scavuzzo crushed a double to right field to knock in a run in the 4th inning.
*The Drillers were not solid defensively and had five miscues on the night.
*If you take out the eighth inning, Johnson, Karch Kowalczyk, Dylan Baker, De Leon and position player Wes Darvill combined for 7.1 innings giving up only 5 hits and two earned runs.
*After a 46-minute rain delay, the official game-time was over three and a half hours.
The Drillers and RoughRiders will face off in the rubber-game of their three-game series on Saturday night at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The pitching matchup will be:
TULSA RHP Justin DeFratus (First start of 2018)
FRISCO RHP Wes Benjamin (First start of 2018)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.