Drillers Take Down Arkansas in Shootout

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:22 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Apr 28, 2011 10:55 PM CDT

Corey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – The Tulsa Drillers used a scoring barrage in the middle innings to overtake the Arkansas Travelers 10-8 Thursday.

The Travelers (8-9) jumped out to an early lead thanks to a big first inning. With two outs, Arkansas rattled off three consecutive base hits that resulted in three runs for a quick 3-0 lead. But the Travelers cooled off for the next several innings, and the Drillers (11-8) took advantage.

Tulsa tied the game with three runs in the third inning, two coming thanks to a home run by Hector Gomez. But the real damage did not come until the next frame.

After a Darin Holcomb ground out to start the fourth, the next six batters all reached base. That stretch resulted in five runs, and Gomez followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Drillers six runs in the inning for a 9-3 lead.

Tulsa added one more run in the top of the sixth on an RBI single from Ben Paulson, and then had to withstand a late surge from Arkansas.

The Travelers got one run back thanks to a solo home run by Ben Mount in the bottom of the sixth, and then recorded their second big inning of the night in the seventh, again with two outs.

Tulsa managed to retire the first two batters of the seventh, but could not get out of the inning. Continuing a trend for the night, five consecutive Travelers reached base. After the first four, Arkansas had scored one run and had the bases loaded.

That prompted Tulsa to change pitchers, which backfired. Daniel Turpen entered the game and promptly allowed a base-clearing double to Luis Jimenez to score three runs and suddenly bring the game back within striking distance.

But Turpen recovered to retire four of the next five batters he faced before handing things over to Adam Jorgensen in the ninth. He did not allow a hit and closed things out for his fifth save of the season.

Gomez was the star of the night at the plate, finishing 3-of-4 with three RBIs and only a double shy of the cycle. Cory Riordan (1-2) finished with his first win of the year after giving up four runs on six hits in six innings.

The Drillers now have won five of their last six games and have moved into sole possession of first place in the Texas League North, one half-game ahead of Northwest Arkansas. Tulsa will remain on the road for a series against the Springfield Cardinals beginning at 7 p.m. Friday.