MIDLAND, Texas – The Tulsa Drillers gave away a two-run lead in the ninth inning and lost 10-9 to the Midland Rockhounds on a walk-off single Wednesday.
The Drillers (54-61) led 9-7 going into the ninth inning thanks to a flurry of late runs, but quickly got into trouble in the bottom of the ninth. Three of the first four batters of the inning reached on singles, loading the bases with only one out.
The next batter walked on four pitches, giving the Rockhounds (62-63) a free run to cut the lead to one and leave the bases loaded. A ground ball could have resulted in a double play and a Drillers win, or a base hit could have swung things in the Rockhounds' favor. Unfortunately for Tulsa, the latter occurred.
Matthew Sulentic ripped a ground ball through the left side of the infield, quickly scoring one runner and bringing another around third. That runner scored to win the game.
Daniel Turpen (2-4) blew his fourth save of the season and finished with a loss after a disastrous ninth inning. He gave up three runs on four hits and a walk, and only retired one batter.
The Tulsa pitching did not start the night much better. Dan Houston lasted just three innings and surrendered seven runs on 10 hits in that span. Five of those runs came in the third and gave Midland a 7-3 lead.
The score remained the same until the sixth, when the Drillers began a streak of three consecutive innings in which they scored. One run in the sixth and three in the seventh tied the game at 7-7, and Tulsa took its first lead of the night in the eighth thanks to a two-run home run by Thomas Field. But the ninth ruined those efforts.
Wednesday's contest began a three-game series between the two teams, which will continue at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.