Drillers unload on Rockhounds

CREATED Aug 8, 2013

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TULSA (KFAQ) - The Tulsa Drillers really like hitting against the Midland RockHounds. After pounding out 12 hits in their series-opening victory, the Drillers one-upped themselves on Wednesday night, erupting for 13 hits to trounce the RockHounds 14-9 at ONEOK Field.


With the win, Tulsa matches its season-high winning streak of five games. The win also improves the club's second-half record to .500 (23-23), a mark it hadn't seen since July 4.


Tulsa benefitted from two Midland errors to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Tyler Kuhn led off the home half with a base hit to left. Cristhian Adames followed with a high chopper back to RockHounds pitcher Murphy Smith who wheeled and threw to second to initiate a double play. Shortstop Darwin Perez dropped the throw from Smith, however, allowing both runners to reach safely. After Kuhn advanced to third on a Kyle Parker groundout, he and Adames pulled off a double steal of second and home with Kiel Roling batting for Tulsa's first run.

Adames, who advanced to third when Perez's throw home on the double steal sailed past the catcher, came across to score on an RBI groundout by Roling. With two outs, Dustin Garneau worked a walk to extend the inning and Joey Wong made it count, driving a double into the left field corner to bring Tulsa's catcher all the way around from first.


Midland answered with three runs in the top of the second to square the game at three. After Drillers starter Tim Gustafson retired the first four batters of the game via strikeout, Max Muncy lined a one-out single to right. Jefry Marte followed with a soft fly ball to left that fell just in front of a sliding Kyle Parker for a single. Beau Taylor delivered both runners with a two-run double to left before crossing home himself on a double by Vinnie Catricala.


In the second, Tulsa regained its lead thanks to four consecutive two-out hits. Kuhn doubled down the right field line and scored on a single by Adames. After Parker lined a single to right, Roling drove in Adames for a second time, dropping a Texas Leaguer into left field.


In the third, Kuhn went from run-scorer to run-producer, plating two with a one-out single to center to give the Drillers a short-lived 7-3 advantage.


The RockHounds came up with five runs in the fourth to turn their deficit into an advantage. With the bases loaded and one out in the inning, D'Arby Myers lined an RBI single into right to score Taylor from third. After getting Chad Oberacker to fly out to right, Gustafson threw his last pitch of the night, a fourth ball to Josh Whitaker that walked home Vinnie Catricala from third.


Leuris Gomez entered the game for Gustafson and, after a long at-bat, served up a bases-clearing triple to Dusty Coleman. When the dust had settled and the smoke had cleared, Midland was ahead 8-7. The lead wouldn't last long.


Tulsa matched Midland's five-run top of the fourth with a five run inning of its own to go back up by four. With runners on the corners and one out, newcomer Tom Murphy lined a two-run single down the left field line to put the Drillers back in front. After a walk was issued to Jayson Langfels, Jaron Shepherd shot an RBI single to center to score Murphy.


Langfels and Shepherd then successfully attempted a double steal of third and second base. When the catcher's attempt to throw out Langfels squirted into left field, the third baseman trotted home with ease. Kuhn followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Shepherd, who had advanced to third on the throwing error, to make it 12-8 Drillers.


In the sixth, Langfels capped off Tulsa's scoring with his second homer in as many nights, a two-run bomb to right. He now has 11 long balls on the season.


Midland tacked on an inconsequential run in the ninth to make the final 14-9.


Gomez recorded his third win of the season after throwing 2.1 innings in relief, while striking out three and walking two. Although he allowed the three-run triple to Coleman, Gomez was not charged with any of the runs as he inherited the bases loaded situation from Gustafson.


Several Drillers had impressive nights at the plate, most notably Kuhn (3-4, 2 runs, 3 RBI), Murphy (3-4, 3 runs, 2 RBI) and Langfels (1-2, 3 runs, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB). Wong also added a multi-hit performance, finishing 2-5 on the evening, to go along with some fine defensive play at shortstop.


The two teams return to ONEOK Field Thursday for the finale of their three-game set. Tyler Matzek (7-7, 3.38 ERA) will toe the rubber for Tulsa as the Drillers go for the series sweep. Midland will counter with Zach Neal (7-9, 4.24 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05PM.