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Drillers Fall To Travelers In Series Finale

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas -

The Tulsa Drillers lost the series finale of their last regular season matchup against the Arkansas Travelers Friday night 4-1. Despite out-hitting the Travelers 7-6, the Drillers were unable to recover from an early four-run deficit.

Arkansas, who is in the driver's seat for the second half championship in the Texas League North Division, will face the Drillers in the first round of the playoffs if they maintain their current lead in the standings. With the Drillers' loss Friday night, the two teams split both the immediate series and the season series, setting up an interesting storyline for the likely post-season matchup.

The Travelers got to Tulsa starter Eddie Butler early Friday night, as they were able to score in each of the first three innings. Doubles from leadoff man Maikol Gonzalez and three-hole hitter Brian Hernandez gave Arkansas a 1-0 lead after the first inning.

Jett Bandy led off the second inning with his 12th home run of the season to double the Travs' lead to 2-0.

Gonzalez and Hernandez struck again in the third inning. Gonzalez opened the inning by drawing a walk and Hernandez followed with a one-out double to put runners on the corners, his second two-bagger of the evening. Gonzalez then scored on a fielder's choice ground out off the bat of Mike Bianucci, and Hernandez came home on a sac fly from Matt Long in the next at-bat, resulting in a 4-0 margin in Arkansas's favor.

Trevor Story's eighth home run of the season in the top of the fourth inning scored what would be the only run for the Drillers Friday night.

Butler pitched five innings for Tulsa, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks while recording a strike out. Nelson Gonzalez and Cole White limited the Travs to just one hit in three combined innings of relief work.

Taylor Featherston was the lone Driller with multiple hits on the evening.

Tulsa will now travel to Springfield for a three-game series with the Cardinals. LHP Carlos Hernandez (4-7, 2.75 ERA) will go for the Drillers in the series opener Saturday night. First pitch at Hammons Field is scheduled for 6:10 p.m.

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