Tulsa, OK – The Tulsa Drillers closed out the home portion of their first-ever season in the Texas Collegiate League Sunday afternoon with another closely contested pitcher’s duel. The two teams combined for just nine hits, but they found a number of ways to score. In the end, it was
Tulsa, OK – The Tulsa Drillers closed out the home portion of their first-ever season in the Texas Collegiate League Sunday afternoon with another closely contested pitcher’s duel. The two teams combined for just nine hits, but they found a number of ways to score. In the end, it was Tulsa who produced enough offense to produce a win, scoring two late runs, to claim a 4-2 victory at ONEOK Field.
The first three runs of the game involved only one hit as a number of uncommon events produced the offense.
Tulsa plated the first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning when Cam Chick walked stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and eventually raced home when Alec Sanchez struck out on a pitch in the dirt. Chick alertly scored when the catcher threw to first to complete the strikeout.
The Generals added a pair of soft runs themselves in the fourth and fifth innings. After Peyton Robertson drew a leadoff walk in the fourth, he stole second and third bases before scoring on a balk.
In the fifth, Jose Diaz used a similar method to score. Diaz led off with a base hit and eventually stole second base and then third, and when Tulsa catcher Brody Gibson’s throw sailed into left field, he came home with the second run of the game for the Generals.
The first run from a hit came in Tulsa’s fifth inning. Chick and Jamal O’Guinn drew consecutive walks to open the inning. Sanchez followed with a perfect bunt for a base hit, but when Victoria third baseman Bryce Grizzaffi faked a throw to first on the play, Chick was trapped between third and home. The University of Nebraska attendee was eventually tagged out at home and also ejected from the game on the play.
With O’Guinn at third and Sanchez at first, Breydon Daniel lined a double down the right field line to tie the score at 2-2. After the double, Tulsa made a bid to retake the lead when Aidan Nagle lofted a fly ball to shallow left-center field. Sanchez attempted to tag and score on the play, but he called out at home after a strong throw from Diaz, the Generals left fielder.
The Drillers did go back in front in the seventh, and again, the rally was absent a base hit. Ryan Cash, who came on for the ejected Chick, drew a leadoff walk. He advanced to second on a passed ball and to third on a balk. With the infield in, Cash scored when Sanchez’s ground ball deflected off the second baseman’s glove and directly to the shortstop for a 4-6-3 putout at first base.
A defensive gem from Cabbiness ensured the Drillers lead remained intact. Bryce Grizzaffi drew a leadoff walk in the top of the eighth, and Roberston followed with a drive into deep left-center field. It appeared destined for an extra-base hit, but Daniel made a superb running catch. Grizzaffi was easily doubled off first base for a highlight-reel double play.
Tulsa added an important insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Cade Cabbiness doubled and scored on a base hit by pinch-hitter Max Hewitt.
The victory sets up for an interesting final week of the season for the Drillers. Tulsa is involved in a four-team battle for two playoff spots from the TCL’s North Division.
TULSA HITTERS: Tulsa accounted for six of the nine hits in the game, with three of them coming in the eighth inning.
Cabbiness was a late-game, defensive replacement and took advantage of his one at-bat with the eighth-inning double.
The number two spot in Tulsa’ lineup drew four walks. Chick accounted for three of them and Cash for one.
Daniel’s stay with the Drillers was short but eventful. The outfielder, who will attend OU in the fall, will leave the team for his scheduled marriage. Tulsa was undefeated in Daniel’s seven appearances in which he hit .333 with 7 runs batted in.
TULSA PITCHERS: Lefthander Colton Williams made his first start of the season and was sensational. The University of Science and Arts Oklahoma hurler retired all nine batters he faced, five on strikeouts.
His USAO teammate, Matt Merrill, followed him to the mound and gave up the two runs, but only one was earned. Seven of the nine outs Merrill recorded came on strikeouts.
West Virginia lefthander Adam Tulloch worked the final three innings and picked up his first win of the year.
The three Tulsa pitchers surrendered just 3 hits while combining to strike out 14.
UP NEXT: The Drillers will now take to the road for the final week of the TCL regular season. They will play six games in Amarillo with a pair of three-game series with the Sod Dogs and Sod Squad. The trip will begin Tuesday night with opener against the Dogs. First pitch at Amarillo’s Hodgetown is set for 7:00 p.m.
All six games from Amarillo can be viewed online with a subscription to TCL-TV.
The starting pitchers for Tuesday’s opener are scheduled to be:
Tulsa – RHP Riley Boyd (3-0, 2.79 ERA)
Amarillo Sod Dogs - TBD