CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Tulsa Drillers put together a ninth-inning charge to take the opening game of the series against the Corpus Christi Hooks with a 9-7 victory.
In the top of the ninth, Hector Gomez, who was activated from the disabled list, smashed a two-run shot over the left field fence to give the Drillers the final advantage in the game.
Tulsa got started early on in the night off the third pitch of the game when lead-off hitter Tim Wheeler sent a fastball soaring over the outfield wall for his 21st home run of the season to go up 1-0.
Later in the third, with one on base and a 1-0 score, Ben Paulsen knocked a ball into left-center for a triple to score Tommy Field from first. Two batters later Wilin Rosario hit a single to score Paulsen and give Tulsa the 3-0 lead.
The bottom of the third saw the Hooks capitalize to regain the lead. Drillers starter Josh Sullivan allowed the Hooks to load the bases without a base hit, walking the first two batters of the inning and the third reaching on a Rosario error.
With the bases loaded, Hooks third baseman Jimmy Paredes singled to right to score one run and once again load the bases with no outs. After a strike out, J.D. Martinez lined a fly ball to center field that eventually fell out of the glove of Tim Wheeler.
The error scored the runner from third however the confusion led to the Hooks committing a baserunning error. Paredes would eventually get caught in a run down between second and third, failing to see Jonathan Villar standing at third until it was too late.
Sullivan then balked in Villar from third and allowed Martinez to advance to third. Chris Wallace completed the four run inning with a single to help the Hooks take the 4-3 lead.
Corpus Christi added another run in the fourth to make it 5-3, and things got a little heated in the fifth.
With one out and runners on second and third, Tulsa's Sullivan hit the next batter and was immediately ejected, without warning, by the home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater.
After a solo home run to right field off the bat of Paredes in the sixth, the Hooks increased their lead to 7-3. The Drillers would come back to cut the deficit to three runs in their next at bat.
The Hooks increased their lead to 7-3 by the sixth but Tulsa's comeback mode came on strong.
After Erik Wetzel started the eighth with a walk, Time Wheeler stepped to the plate and launched a home run over the center field wall for his second of the night. The homer was Wetzel's 22nd of the year and it put Tulsa back on top 7-6.
Tulsa starter Josh Sullivan threw four and two-thirds innings struck out seven, allowed four hits and five walks on the night.
The Drillers closed it out in the final inning tacking on three final runs for the 9-7 win.
The two teams return to action Friday at 7:05 p.m.