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Drillers Fall to Travelers in Extras

Carson Taylor watches his home run sail over the right field fence in Tuesday's meeting with Arkansas at ONEOK Field. (Rich Crimi)
August 29, 2023

TULSA, OK – The opening game of a six-game series between the Tulsa Drillers and Arkansas Travelers saw extra innings on Tuesday night at ONEOK Field. The game entered the tenth inning, tied at five runs each. Arkansas used a ground out, an error, a wild pitch and a home

TULSA, OK – The opening game of a six-game series between the Tulsa Drillers and Arkansas Travelers saw extra innings on Tuesday night at ONEOK Field. The game entered the tenth inning, tied at five runs each. Arkansas used a ground out, an error, a wild pitch and a home run to score five runs, with four being unearned, to take a 10-6 win.

The loss dropped the Drillers season record against Arkansas to 4-9.

BOX SCORE

Both sides displayed their power in the second inning, with two home runs from each team.

The homers from Arkansas came with two outs in the inning as Josh Morgan delivered a solo shot. The next batter, Leo Rivas, drew a walk, and Jake Anchia followed with a two-run homer that gave the Travelers a 3-0 lead.

Imanol Vargas led off the Drillers half of the second with a single, and Carson Taylor blasted his tenth homer of the year. Josh Stowers hit the second home run in the inning to tie the game 3-3.

The Drillers used key hits from the middle of the order to take the lead in the third inning. With two outs, Yusniel Diaz and Vargas hit consecutive doubles, both into the left-center gap, to take a one-run lead.

In the fourth, Tulsa traded a run for two outs as a 6-4-3 double play allowed the Travs to score their fourth run and again tie the game. Two batters later, they regained the lead when Anchia drove in his third run of the game.

The game was scoreless over the next three innings before an error helped the Drillers tie the game in the eighth. A walk and a hit batter put two runners on base to begin the inning. A fielder’s choice followed to advance the lead runner to third base, and a throwing error on a pickoff attempt to first base by pitcher Jorge Benitez tied the game at 5-5.

After the Travs took a five-run lead in the top of the tenth, capped by Alberto Rodriguez’s home run, Tulsa managed to score the placed runner in the bottom of the inning with a ground out. A fly out, a walk and a ground out ended the game with the Travelers claiming the series opening win.

Josh Stowers receives congratulations from his teammates following his second-inning homer in Tuesday's series opener with Arkansas.Rich Crimi

HIGHLIGHTS & HAPPENINGS

*Tulsa is now 9-4 in extra-inning games this season.

*Despite scoring runs in the eighth and tenth innings, the Drillers did not earn a hit after the fifth inning.

*Stowers now has eight home runs for the season, with six coming in August.

*Vargas drove in his 83rd run of the season, and he trails only Yusniel Diaz for the most RBI in the Texas League in the month of August with 23.

*Tulsa began the series with a bullpen game as six pitchers combined to complete the ten innings. Braydon Fisher made his first start since the 2021 season, pitching the first two innings. Ben Harris and Antonio Knowles were the only pitchers not allowing a run as the duo combined to pitch 4.1 scoreless innings.

*Ricky Vanasco received the loss, pitching the ninth and tenth innings. Vanasco has not allowed an earned run in his last 15 appearances. He is 1-2 during that span and has been charged with seven unearned runs.

UP NEXT:

The Drillers and Travelers will play the second game of their six-game series on Wednesday night at ONEOK Field. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and the starting pitchers are slated to be:

Arkansas – RHP Jimmy Joyce (0-3, 4.56 ERA)
Tulsa – RHP Kendall Williams (2-1, 2.61 ERA)