Drillers Need Only One to Claim Another Extra-Innings Win
TULSA, OK – For the second straight game, the starting pitchers were the storyline Wednesday night for the Tulsa Drillers and Northwest Arkansas Naturals in a meeting that took extra innings to decide a winner. The Drillers Landon Knack and the Naturals Noah Cameron both carried shutouts through seven impressive
TULSA, OK – For the second straight game, the starting pitchers were the storyline Wednesday night for the Tulsa Drillers and Northwest Arkansas Naturals in a meeting that took extra innings to decide a winner. The Drillers Landon Knack and the Naturals Noah Cameron both carried shutouts through seven impressive and efficient innings.
The bullpens continued to keep the game scoreless through nine innings, before the Drillers finally pushed across the only run and the winning run in the bottom of the tenth in a 1-0 victory over the Naturals.
It was an unlikely win for the Drillers who had only three hits in the game and none over the final seven innings.
If not for pitch counts, the game might not have ended as soon as it did with Knack and Cameron dominating on the mound.
Knack gave up just four hits and did not walk a batter while striking out six in his seven scoreless frames. The right-hander, who is rated as the 18th best minor league prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers system, needed just 86 pitches to turn in the longest outing of the season for a Tulsa pitcher.
Cameron was just as impressive in what was his first game at the Double-A level. The Central Arkansas product is the 22nd ranked prospect in the Kansas City Royals minor league system, and he looked the part in his seven innings. Cameron, like Knack, allowed just four base runners, giving up three hits and issuing one walk. The lefthander also matched Knack with six strikeouts.
Tulsa relievers Kevin Gowdy, Trevor Bettencourt and Ben Harris each worked a scoreless inning in back of Knack. Harris kept the placed runner in the tenth inning from scoring by striking out the side.
Will Klein blanked the Drillers in the eighth and ninth innings.
Jacob Wallace took the mound for Northwest Arkansas in the tenth and retired the inning’s leadoff hitter, Carson Taylor, on a fly out, but placed runner Diego Cartaya advanced to third on the play. After an intentional walk to Imanol Vargas, Kody Hoese lofted a fly ball down the right field line. It appeared as if John Rave could have let the fly drop for a foul ball, but the right fielder caught it, allowing Cartaya to tag up and come home with the winning run.
Rave had kept the Drillers off the scoreboard on two occasions earlier in the game. In the fifth inning, he reached above the fence to take a home run away from Taylor.
In the bottom of the ninth, with the potential winning run at first, Rave raced into the gap to catch a possible game-winning hit from Cartaya.
HIGHLIGHTS AND HAPPENINGS:
*The first nine innings of the game took less than two hours to complete, and it would have been the fastest game in stadium history if extra innings were not required.
*The win improved Tulsa’s record at ONEOK Field this season to 18-5 (.783), the best home record in the Texas League.
*Taylor singled in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to four straight games. He has also hit safely in seven of his last eight games.
*Knack’s shutout lowered his season ERA 1.32
*Harris picked up the win, his first at the Double-A level.
The third game of the six-game series between the Drillers and the Naturals is scheduled for Thursday night at ONEOK Field. Starting time is set for 7:05 p.m. and the starting pitchers are expected to be:
NWA – RHP Beck Way (0-3, 12.18 ERA)
TUL – RHP Kyle Hurt (2-1, 1.17 ERA)