The Tulsa Drillers raced back with a late rally to claim the 9-7 win in the series finale against the Springfield Cardinals before 3,982 fans at ONEOK Field on Wednesday night.
After both Cardinals RHP Andrew Morales and Tulsa RHP Deck McGuire posted a scoreless first frame, the Cardinals (17-16, 47-56) jumped in front in the top of the second. With one down, 3B Patrick Wisdom reached on an infield single, before trotting home when 2B Bruce Caldwell launched a mammoth two-run shot to center field, lifting the Cardinals ahead, 2-0.
A Caldwell RBI groundout brought in another Springfield run in the top of the fourth, before the Cardinals blew it open with four runs in the top of the fifth. Morales helped his own cause with a leadoff single to start the charge. He then flew in from first base on an RBI triple rocketed to right-center by CF Charlie Tilson, making it a 4-0 lead. LF Mike O’Neill wasted no time bringing in Tilson, placing an RBI single to shallow right field. After a walk from RF Anthony Garcia, RHP Jairo Heredia (W, 1-3) took over on the mound and dealt a strikeout to 1B Jonathan Rodriguez for the inning’s first out. C Michael Ohlman followed with a sharp single to left field, loading the bases for Wisdom. Wisdom chopped an RBI single through the left side that brought in O’Neill from third base and enabled Garcia to also score on an error on the play, increasing the Springfield advantage to 7-0.
Morales kept the seven-run lead untouched through his first six scoreless stanzas, before the Drillers (15-18, 45-57) began the comeback in the bottom of the seventh. RF Yadir Drake started the rally with a double, before coming home on an RBI single by 2B Brandon Trinkwon. After LF Adam Law traded places with Trinkwon in a fielder’s choice, 3B Ronald Torreyes brought Law in with an RBI double to left-center field. Torreyes then came in on an RBI double from CF Peter Lavin, leading to RHP Kurt Heyer entering the game. Heyer induced a groundout from 1B Lars Anderson, but it brought in Lavin from third base to further decrease the Drillers deficit to 7-4.
Tulsa completed the comeback with a five-run charge in the bottom of the eighth. With one down, SS Erisbel Arruebarrena and Drake set the table with consecutive singles. After RHP Chris Thomas (L, 3-4) took over on the mound, Trinkwon sqaured the score with a three-run home run to right field, making it 7-7. Thomas rebounded with a groundout for the second out in the inning, but Torreyes extended the frame with a double. Lavin then dealt the go-ahead blow with a two-run shot to right field, swinging the Drillers into the 9-7 lead.
Tulsa LHP Ryan Dennick (S, 1) took over for the top of the ninth, closing the 9-7 comeback win for Tulsa with a 1-2-3 final frame.