Drillers Power Past Northwest Arkansas

Saturday, June 21st 2014, 11:09 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa Drillers won their second game in as many nights at Arvest Ballpark against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals by a final score of 4-3.

Now five games into the young second half of the season, the win put the Drillers a game back of the division leading Naturals for first place in the Texas League North.

The game remained close for its entirety, as neither team was able to take control of the game at any point.

The Drillers took the first lead of the game with a run in the second inning. After Jayson Langfels' single moved Tyler Massey to third, J.C. Sulbaran's pickoff throw sailed past third baseman Hunter Dozier, allowing Massey to score.

Tulsa again added a run in the top of the third on a solo shot from Taylor Featherston, his seventh of the season.

The Naturals responded in the home half of the inning with a run. After Micah Gibbs drew a walk, a passed ball charged to Ryan Casteel moved Gibbs into scoring position. Gibbs would then move to third on Angel Franco's single and score on a sac fly from Oklahoma native Lane Adams, making the game 2-1.

The Drillers made it 3-1 when Featherston led off the sixth with yet another home run.

However, Northwest Arkansas would not allow the Tulsa lead to last through the inning, as they tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Franco led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on Adams' fly out. A bunt-turned-single from Orlando Calixte scored Franco and ended Tulsa starter Carlos Hernandez's night.

Reliever Nate Striz allowed a deep center field double to Cheslor Cuthbert in the next at-bat, which scored Calixte from first and set the stage for Drillers newcomer David Kandilas.

Kandilas, who finally broke through with three hits Friday night, his first as a Driller since joining the team a week ago, played the role of hero Saturday night. Kandilas took the first pitch he saw out of the ballpark for his first home run with Tulsa and gave the Drillers a 4-3 lead.

Kraig Sitton held off the Naturals in the bottom of the eighth, and interim closer Cole White came in and recorded his fourth save of the season by blanking Northwest Arkansas in the ninth and closing out the game.

Hernandez pitched 5.2 innings for the Drillers, allowing three runs on four hits and one walk.

The Drillers and Naturals will close out their series Sunday afternoon at Arvest Ballpark. It will be the last game for both teams before the All-Star break, with the actual All-Star game occurring Tuesday night in Little Rock. First pitch for the series finale will be 2:05 PM.