TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Drillers scored in just two inning Thursday night, but they made them big innings. The Drillers scored five times in the first and added four more runs in the bottom half of the fourth before staving off a late rally from the Frisco RoughRiders to
TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Drillers scored in just two inning Thursday night, but they made them big innings. The Drillers scored five times in the first and added four more runs in the bottom half of the fourth before staving off a late rally from the Frisco RoughRiders to record a 9-7 win at ONEOK Field.
It was the fifth straight victory for the Drillers and kept them in a first-place tie with Wichita in the Texas League’s North Division standings.
Tulsa’s big first inning began with Michael Busch’s one-out double. After a walk to James Outman, Ryan Ward doubled home Busch, and when Frisco right fielder Josh Stowers’ throw back into the infield was wide of second, Outman scored to make it 2-0.
Following a four-pitch walk to Justin Yurchak, Hunter Feduccia delivered a three-run homer to stake Tulsa to the quick 5-0 lead. For Feduccia, it was his fourth home run of the season.
The Drillers never relinquished that lead, but the RoughRiders did not make things easy. They cut into their deficit with a run in the top of the second and two-more in the third. David Garcia doubled and then scored Frisco’s first run when Tulsa starting pitcher Clayton Beeter issued three walks, giving the Riders their first run.
In the third inning, Trey Hair doubled home two more runs to make the score 5-3.
Another big outburst from the Drillers in the bottom of the fourth gave them their largest lead of the night. Busch was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, and Outman followed with his eighth homer of the season. After there were two outs, three straight singles from Feduccia, Brandon Lewis and Kody Hoese plated another run. A wild pitch brought in the fourth run of the inning and gave the Drillers a 9-3 lead.
The RoughRiders would not go away. They had scored one run in the sixth inning and had the bases loaded with just one out when one of the game’s most crucial plays took place on a Ezequiel Duran drive to deep right field. Tulsa right fielder Outman reached over the fence to take a grand slam away from Duran. Each of the three runners tagged and advanced on the catch, giving the Riders their fifth run. Before the next pitch, the Drillers were going to appeal that the runner at second base had left too early on the fly out. As pitcher Alec Gamboa turned to throw to second, the runner at third, J.P. Martinez, broke for home. Gamboa quickly turned and threw to catcher Feduccia who tagged Martinez for the inning-ending out.
Frisco moved closer with single runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. Blaine Crim hit a solo homer off Gamboa in the seventh, and Justin Foscue doubled home a run off Mark Washington in the eighth, trimming the Tulsa lead to just 9-7.
Washington would stop the RoughRiders there. He worked a 1-2-3 ninth to complete Tulsa’s fifth straight victory and collect his second save of the year.
HIGHLIGHTS AND HAPPENINGS:
*Offensively, Lewis and Hoese led Tulsa’s 13-hit attack with three hits each. For Lewis, it was his first three-hit game of the season, while it was the second for Hoese.
*Outman, Feducci and Ward each had two hits. For Outman, he extended his hitting streak to seven straight games. Busch’s first-inning double extended his streak to five games.
*Frisco entered this series with the best team ERA in the Texas League, but in the first three games the Drillers have scored a total of 23 runs on 30 hits. As a result, the Riders ERA has increased nearly one-half run from 4.01 up to 4.47.
*The run in the eighth inning against Washington snapped a 12-inning scoreless streak for the reliever. It was the first run he had surrendered in nearly a month, dating to April 16.
*It was a tough night for Beeter who needed 69 pitches to work three complete innings. The former Texas Tech hurler allowed three runs on four hits and five walks. He struck out five batters.
*Gamboa delivered four relief innings, surrendering three runs on three hits. The lefthander picked up the win to improve his season record to 3-0, tying him with Austin Drury and Washington for the most victories on the team.
*Attendance for the game was 6,072 increasing the paid attendance to 18,272 for the first three games of the six-game series between the two teams.
The Drillers and RoughRiders will be back in action Friday night at ONEOK Field. Starting time is set for 7:05 p.m. and the starting pitchers are scheduled to be:
Frisco- LHP Cody Bradford (2-2, 9.45 ERA)
Tulsa- RHP Landon Knack (0-0, 4.50 ERA)