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Drillers Lose Lead In Ninth, Fall To 1-4

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For eight innings Monday night, the Tulsa Drillers were in position to snap a two-game losing streak and post their second win of the season. But, hopes for a victory unraveled in a difficult ninth inning and the result was a 4-3 come-from-behind victory for the Corpus Christi Hooks at Whataburger Field.

Carrying a one-run lead into the final inning, the Drillers missed a good chance to increase their lead in the top of the ninth. Henry Wrigley singled for his first hit of the season and moved to third on a wild pitch and a throwing error by Hooks' catcher Ryan McCurdy. A walk to Kyle Parker put runners at first and third with only one out, but Corpus Christi kept Tulsa's lead at a single run when Cristhian Adames bounced into an inning-ending double play.

The play proved big when Corpus Christi rallied in the bottom of the ninth against Isaiah Froneberger. The Hooks loaded the bases without the benefit of a hit as Froneberger walked Enrique Hernandez to open the inning and then hit Ben Orloff with a pitch. Following a sacrifice bunt, the Tulsa lefthander intentionally walked Austin Wates to fill the bases.

Froneberger recovered to strike out Jiovanni Mier and get within one out of ending the game, but the out would never come. George Springer drew the third walk of the inning to bring in Hernandez with the game-tying run.

Cleanup hitter Michael Burgess then grounded the next pitch from Froneberger just past a diving Angelys Nina and into right field for a base hit that plated Orloff to give the Hooks the walk-off victory and set off a playoff-like celebration. Burgess was mobbed by his teammates and doused with a Gatorade bath near second base.

The comeback spoiled a strong outing from Cory Riordan out of the Tulsa bullpen. Riordan did not allow a hit in three shutout innings in relief of starting pitcher Tyler Matzek.

Matzek, making his first Double A appearance, surrendered two first-inning runs before blanking the Hooks over his final three innings. Overall, Matzek allowed three hits, five walks and two runs while striking out five in his four innings.

Tulsa pitchers combined to issue nine walks in the contest.

One of those walks helped the Hooks open the scoring with a pair of runs in the first inning. Wates drew a leadoff pass from Matzek and eventually scored on an infield single from Springer. Burgess followed with a fly ball to shallow left field that could have been caught, but the gift single and another walk loaded the bases with two outs.

Hernandez then lined a single into right field to score Springer, but Kent Matthes limited the damage by throwing Burgess out at the plate to end the inning and keep the Hooks lead at only two runs.

Consecutive two-out doubles from Joey Wong and Delta Cleary Jr. for Tulsa in the top of the third cut the lead in half.

A pair of home runs put the Drillers in front. Parker opened the fifth inning with his first Double A homer to tie the score, and Matthes belted his first of the season with two outs in the sixth to give Tulsa the 3-2 lead.

The defeat was the third straight for the Drillers who will conclude their season-opening road trip Tuesday night against the Hooks.

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