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Drillers Walk to Victory

Tulsa centerfielder Jeren Kendall throws back to the infield on Ezequiel Duran's second-inning triple. (Rich Crimi)
May 10, 2022

TULSA, OK - The Tulsa Drillers and the Frisco RoughRiders squared off at ONEOK Field Tuesday night for the first time in nearly three years. In the meeting, the Drillers were able to take advantage of the generosity of the Frisco pitching staff. RoughRiders hurlers opened the bottom of the

TULSA, OK - The Tulsa Drillers and the Frisco RoughRiders squared off at ONEOK Field Tuesday night for the first time in nearly three years. In the meeting, the Drillers were able to take advantage of the generosity of the Frisco pitching staff. RoughRiders hurlers opened the bottom of the fifth by issuing seven straight walks, and nine total in the inning, allowing the Drillers to score all eight of their runs in an 8-6 win.

The victory moved the Drillers into a first-place tie with Wichita in the Texas League’s North Division standings.

BOXSCORE

It was all Frisco through the early innings of the game. The Riders opened the scoring when Ezequiel Duran led off the top of the second with a triple. He was brought home one batter later on David Garcia’s slow groundout, giving the RoughRiders a 1-0 lead.

The lead increased to 3-0 in the third. The inning began with Dio Arias being hit by a pitch, and Sandro Fabian made the Drillers pay with a two-run homer.

Things fell apart for the RoughRiders in the bottom of the fifth. The inning began with seven straight walks from Frisco pitchers Zak Kent and Sean Chandler that gave Tulsa a 4-3 lead without putting a ball into play. Kody Hoese added another run with an RBI single before an eighth walk tallied the sixth run of the inning. The final two runs scored on Jeren Kendall’s single and Jacob Amaya’s sacrifice fly.

The seven consecutive walks were an all-time record for a Tulsa professional team as were the nine total walks in the inning. Pro baseball has been played in Tulsa since 1905.

Tulsa third baseman Kody Hoese makes a long throw to first during Tuesday's win over Frisco. Tim Campbell

The RoughRiders got one run back in the sixth on a solo home run from Blaine Crime, bringing the score to 8-4.

In the seventh inning, Frisco scored a pair of runs on three straight doubles to pull to within two runs.

Tulsa relievers Mark Washington and Guillermo Zuniga put a stop to the comeback, recording the final seven outs for the Drillers while allowing just one base runner.

HIGHLIGHTS AND HAPPENINGS:

*The Drillers finished with a total of 11 walks for the game.

*All but one Tulsa hitter recorded an RBI in the game.

*Nick Robertson earned his first win of the season, tossing 1.1 relief innings

*Zuniga recorded his fourth save is now a perfect 4-4 in save opportunities.

*Saturday night’s game between the Drillers and RoughRiders at ONEOK Field is expected to feature two of Minor League Baseball’s top pitching prospects. Bobby Miller is scheduled to take the mound for the Drillers, while Jack Leiter is the anticipated starter for the Riders. Leiter is the number one prospect in the Texas Rangers system, while Miller is the number two prospect for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

UP NEXT:

The Drillers and RoughRiders will play game two their six-game series on Wednesday, May 11 at 11:05 a.m. The starting pitchers are scheduled to be:

Frisco- LHP Avery Weems (1-2, 8.04 ERA)

Tulsa- RHP Gus Varland (0-3, 7.23 ERA)