TULSA, OK – With just over one week remaining in the Texas League’s first half season, the Tulsa Drillers have picked a good time to go on a winning streak. On Friday night at ONEOK Field, the Drillers blanked Wichita 5-0 for their third straight win and slightly increased their
TULSA, OK – With just over one week remaining in the Texas League’s first half season, the Tulsa Drillers have picked a good time to go on a winning streak. On Friday night at ONEOK Field, the Drillers blanked Wichita 5-0 for their third straight win and slightly increased their first-place lead atop the North Division standings.
The race for the first-half title is looking like a three team sprint, and the standings could not get much closer. Matching the Drillers with a three-game winning streak, the Arkansas Travelers have also put themselves in the thick of the race moving ahead of the Wind Surge. At the conclusion of Friday’s games, the Drillers occupy first place, one game in front of the Travelers and 1.5 games ahead of Wichita.
The first half of the season will end on Sunday, June 26.
Friday’s win for the Drillers came courtesy of a strong performance on the mound courtesy of four different pitchers. The group combined for the staff’s fourth shutout of the season.
Tulsa’s offensive production began in the bottom of the third inning when the speed of Jeren Kendall produced the game’s first run. After drawing a one-out walk, Kendall swiped both second and third bases before jogging home when Wichita starting pitcher Blayne Enlow committed a balk.
Later in the third, Devin Mann drew another walk, advanced to third on a base hit by James Outman and scored Tulsa’s second run on a wild pitch from Enlow.
The Drillers plated two more runs in the fifth. Leonel Valera walked and scored when Mann doubled into the left field corner. Outman upped the lead to 4-0 with a sacrifice fly that plated Mann.
The Wind Surge’s best chance of scoring came in the top of the seventh when they loaded the bases with two outs against reliever Alec Gamboa. Jose Adames was brought on from the Tulsa bullpen and ran the count against Chris Williams to 2-2 with four straight fastballs. Adames ended the threat with a called strike three on a breaking pitch that froze Williams.
Brandon Lewis promptly made it a 5-0 game when he led off the bottom half of the seventh with his fifth home run of the season, an opposite-field drive into the right field bullpen.
Adames worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning before turning the ninth over to Gus Varland. Varland set the Wind Surge down in order to close out the victory.
Gamboa worked 3.2 innings in relief of starter Clayton Beeter to gain the win and up his season record to a perfect 6-0. The lefthander pitched around four hits and a walk.
HIGHLIGHTS AND HAPPENINGS:
*Clayton Beeter made his 11th start of the season on the mound for the Drillers and delivered his second straight scoreless start. The Texas Tech product blanked the Wind Surge through the first three innings, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out six.
*Gamboa’s six wins lead the Tulsa staff.
*Valera doubled in the seventh inning and has now hit safely in 11 of his 13 games since joining the Drillers on May 31.
*Friday’s win also increased the Drillers lead over Wichita in the 2022 Coors Light Propeller Series to 9-4.
*Three of Tulsa’s four shutouts this season have come at ONEOK Field. The four shutouts match the staff’s total from all of last season.
*Each team finished with five hits in the game.
*The victory ensured a series win for the Drillers, as they have won four of the first five games in the extended seven-game series.
*Paid attendance at ONEOK Field totaled 7,915, a sellout.
*The Drillers wore special Star Wars-themed jerseys in the game.
The Drillers and Wind Surge will continue their series on Saturday night at ONEOK Field with start time scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
The pitching matchup is scheduled to be:
Wichita – RHP Daniel Gossett (2-2, 9.73 ERA at Triple-A St. Paul)
Tulsa – RHP Gavin Stone (2-2, 1.73 ERA)