After taking a one-run lead into the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday afternoon, it looked as though the Drillers would snap their losing streak with a hard-fought victory on the road. But a ninth inning homer from the Arkansas Travelers would change the storyline and send the game into extra innings where the Drillers would go on to lose 7-6 in twelve innings at Dickey-Stephens Park.
A day after a narrow 2-1 contest, Wednesday's game proved to be the exact opposite as the Drillers and Travs combined for 30 hits while leaving a total of 21 runners on base during the affair.
The four hour and one-minute marathon marked the 5th straight loss for Tulsa as it was the longest game of the year for the Drillers both in time of game and in number of innings played.
Alex Verdugo and Jacob Scavuzzo paired up to give the Drillers an early lead in the top of the third inning. With one out, Verdugo picked up his second base hit of the day. After a wild pitch moved him to second, Scavuzzo brought him the rest of the way home with an RBI double.
Tulsa's lead did not last long, however, as Arkansas knotted the score in the home half of the inning. Drillers starter Scott Barlow retired the first two batters of the frame before Alex Yarbrough picked up a two-out single. Eric Aguilera followed with a base hit that skipped by right fielder Devan Ahart to score Yarbrough from first and tie the game at 1-1.
The Drillers had a chance to take the lead back in the fourth inning as they had Paul Hoenecke and Tyler Ogle on second and third respectively with no outs. But miscues would prevent that from happening as Ogle was thrown out at home on a ground ball to second before Hoenecke was caught stealing at home on a failed suicide squeeze to subdue the scoring chance.
Despite the negative results, the fifth inning delivered a better outcome for Tulsa as the Drillers retook the lead.
Verdugo and Scavuzzo were in the middle of the action yet again with back-to-back singles to get things going. A walk to Cody Bellinger loaded the bases and brought Willie Calhoun to the plate. The second baseman delivered for the Drillers as he smashed a triple down the right field line to clear the bases and put Tulsa back in front 4-1. Ogle then scored Calhoun with an RBI base hits of his own to give the Drillers a four run lead.
Arkansas began chipping away at the lead in the sixth inning as Barlow surrendered a two-run homer to Cal Towey, drawing the Travs to within two. The blast was Towey's second home run of the year.
The Travs tied the game up for the second time in the eighth inning against Caleb Dirks and Grant Dayton. RBI hits from Andrew Daniel and Anthony Bemboom scored two and erased the Drillers advantage.
Brandon Trinkwon and Vergudo did their best to help push Tulsa back into the win column in the top of the ninth as a double and RBI single from the duo put the Drillers back up 6-5.
Jordan Schafer came on for the bottom half of the ninth inning, looking to secure a Drillers victory. But that was not to be as Schafer watched Eric Aguilera launch a one-out homer over the right-center field fence to wipe out yet another Tulsa lead.
That sent the game into extra innings where things would go downhill for the Drillers.
Edward Paredes came on for Arkansas and turned in 3.1 innings of scoreless relief for the Travs while striking out six to cool off the Drillers offense.
Facing Tulsa's Michael Johnson in the bottom of the twelfth inning, Arkansas shortstop Angel Rosa came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs after going 0-5 with four strikeouts to that point. But Rosa would end the day the hero as he dropped a bloop single into right field that just eluded the glove of a diving Ahart to end the extra inning affair.
Paredes (1-0) earned the victory for Arkansas while Johnson (0-1) took the loss for Tulsa.
The Drillers will look to end their losing streak Thursday night as they continue their series with the Travs. Chase De Jong (1-3, 4.68 ERA) will take the hill for the Drillers while RHP Kyle McGowin (3-2, 4.56 ERA) will oppose him for the Travs. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM.