The Tulsa Drillers did it again Wednesday night at ONEOK Field.
For the second straight game, the Drillers spotted Springfield a big early lead only to stage a late rally. Trailing by four runs halfway through Wednesday's contest, Tulsa rallied to tie the score, then completed the comeback when Kyle Garlick belted a walk-off, two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving the Drillers a dramatic 8-6 victory.
It was the second night in a row that Tulsa used the script. On Tuesday, Tulsa trailed by five runs before rallying for a 9-5 win.
In Wednesday's victory, the Drillers spotted the Cardinals a 5-1 lead, before staging another comeback to send the game into extra innings.
Reliever Caleb Dirks held the Redbirds scoreless in the top of the tenth. It looked as if the game was headed to 11th when Paul Hoenecke grounded into a double play, but Drew Maggi extended the tenth with a two-out single. Two pitches later, Garlick belted a pitch from Ronnie Shaban over the grass berm in left-center field. The two-run homer landed on the outfield concourse, giving Tulsa a perfect 2-0 start to the second-half of the season.
It was not the first time that the Drillers led in the game as they jumped to an early lead with a run in the bottom of the first. Brandon Trinkwon doubled and scored on a single by Willie Calhoun.
The Cardinals tied the score in their next at-bat as Anthony Garcia, Paul DeJong and Carson Kelly opened the top of the second with three straight singles. Garcia scored on Mike Ohlman's sacrifice fly.
Springfield went in front with a pair of runs in the third. The inning began with leadoff batter Harrison Bader reaching safely on shortstop Maggi's error. The Cards again loaded the bases when Bruce Caldwell singled and Luke Voit walked, setting the table for a two-run single from Garcia that put the Redbirds in front 3-1.
Single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings increased the lead to 5-1. In the fourth, starting pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon singled with two outs and scored on a triple by Bader. Garcia drew a leadoff walk in the fifth and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
The Drillers cut into the lead with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the fifth. Adam Law led off with a base hit, and Andrew Toles drew a walk. Trinkwon brought home both runners with his first triple of the year before scoring himself on a ground out by Cody Bellinger that made it 5-4.
Springfield scored for the fifth straight inning when Bader produced his second triple of the night in the sixth, then came home on a sacrifice fly from Caldwell.
Tulsa erased its deficit with two runs in bottom of the sixth. Paul Hoenecke led off with a base hit and moved to third on a ground-rule double by Maggi. Hoenecke scored on a sacrifice fly by pitcher Jordan Schafer before Toles tied the game at 6-6 with a single that plated Maggi, setting up Garlick's dramatic homer in the tenth inning.
There were a total of 27 hits in the game that took 3 hours and 42 minutes to complete. The Drillers totaled 14 hits, led by 3 from Toles. Trinkwon and Maggi had two hits each.
Tulsa will now open a four-game series with Northwest Arkansas Thursday night at ONEOK Field. Lisalverto Bonilla (2-2, 5.09 ERA in Triple A) will make his Drillers debut in the opener, while the Naturals will send Matt Strahm (2-6, 3.09 ERA) to the mound. Starting time is scheduled for 7:05PM.