SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–With eight games to play and still in the running for the Texas League first-half title, the Tulsa Drillers needed a win against the Springfield Cardinals to keep pace in the standings. The Drillers did just that after four homers, a good start by Logan Bawcom and three shutout innings from the bullpen resulted in a 6-3 win in Springfield.
Zach Reks got a rare start at first base and put the Drillers on the board early. In the top of the first, the lefty crushed an opposite-field homer over the left field wall to put Tulsa on top 1-0.
The Cards came right back with a couple of runs in the bottom of the first. Still in search of his first win, Bawcom allowed a home run to Edmundo Sosa to tie things up. Following the homer, Lane Thomas singled and stole second, and Even Mendoza knocked him in to put Springfield on top 2-1.
The two teams traded home runs in the middle of the game. In the top of the fourth, Connor Joe launched his 11thhomer of the season to tie things again. But in the bottom of the fifth, Springfield took a 3-2 lead after Sosa’s second homer of the game.
After tossing six quality innings, the Drillers offense put Bawcom in position for his first win in the top of the seventh.Yusniel Diaz singled to lead the inning off, before Tyler Goeddel and Jacob Scavuzzo launched back-to-back home runs to put the Drillers back on top 5-3.
The Drillers added an insurance run in the top of the eighth. After Reks walked and stole second, Yusniel Diaz hit a ball up the middle that was fielded and thrown over the first baseman’s head that resulted in another Tulsa run. This would be more than enough for the Drillers as Brian Moran, Layne Somsen and Dylan Baker combined to blank the Cardinals over the final three frames to close out the 6-3 victory and the series win.
WHAT YOU MISSED
*After Reks’ first inning homer, all the position players on the Drillers now have at least one long-ball. The Drillers have 87 homers as a team this year.
*Moran had a scoreless inning of work out of the bullpen that included three strikeouts.
*Somsen made his 2018 season debut and also had a scoreless inning out of the bullpen. Somsen pitched for the Drillers last season and was 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA.
*Baker retired the Cardinals in order in the ninth to record his third save of the season.
*The win was the third straight for the Drillers, matching a season high. The last three-game winning streak for Tulsa was April 29-May 1. Tulsa has won three straight this season on three occasions.
*The victory puts the Drillers 2.5 games behind the first place Travelers with seven games to play in the first half. Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas play later on Monday night.
The Drillers will go for the four-game sweep of the Cardinals on Tuesday night in Springfield. First pitch at Hammons Field is scheduled for 7:10 PM, and the probable starting pitchers are:
TUL Mitchell White (0-2, 5.87 ERA)
SPR Connor Jones (3-2, 4.50 ERA)