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 Tulsa Drillers

Bullpen Comes up Big in Winning Debut for TulsaSound

June 22, 2023 - Texas League (TL)
Tulsa Drillers News Release

TulsaSound's Alec Gamboa on the mound
TulsaSound's Alec Gamboa on the mound
(Tulsa Drillers, Credit: Rich Crimi)

TULSA, OK- One night after the Tulsa bullpen failed to hold a lead, the relievers came through in a big way Thursday at ONEOK Field. After a shaky beginning to the game, four relievers combined to work 8 1/3 shutout innings that helped lead Tulsa to an important 5-3 victory over Northwest Arkansas.

It was technically the first win for the TulsaSound. The Drillers have rebranded for the remainder of this week as the Sound to pay tribute to the iconic musical style that originated in Tulsa from the likes of Leon Russell, J.J. Cale, Roger Tillison and Elvin Bishop. The team is wearing special TulsaSound uniforms with the rebrand.

The victory kept Tulsa's first-half division title hopes alive with just three games remaining in the first half.

After dropping the first two games this week to the Naturals, Thursday's game also got off to a difficult start for Tulsa. The leadoff batter for Northwest Arkansas grounded out on the game's first pitch, but Tulsa starting pitcher Nick Frasso walked two of the next three batters.

With two outs and runners at second and third, Luca Tresh dropped a fly ball into shallow right field between three Tulsa fielders that turned into a two-run single. Dillan Shrum followed and just missed a home run with a drive that hit the top of the fence in left-center field. Shrum settled for a triple as Tresh scored to give Northwest Arkansas a quick 3-0 lead.

The TulsaSound responded in the bottom of the first. With one out, Jorbit Vivas was hit by a pitch, and Jose Ramos lined a single into centerfield. Two pitches later, Imanol Vargas doubled into the gap in deep, left-center field. Vivas scored on the hit, but Ramos was thrown out at the plate, holding the Drillers to just one run in the inning.

The Naturals lead disappeared behind a four-run third inning from the Sound. After Josh Stowers reached on an error, Austin Gauthier hit his second Double-A home run to tie the score.

Later in the third with two outs, Vargas and Diego Cartaya singled and Carson Taylor walked to load the bases. Eddys Leonard then lined a double into the left field corner that scored Vargas and Cartaya to put the TulsaSound in front 5-3.

From there, the bullpen took over.

Alec Gamboa got the final out in the first inning and allowed just two hits while striking out five over the next four innings.

Ryan Sublette was next to the mound, and he struck out four of the five batters he faced.

John Rooney followed, coming on with two outs in the seventh. Rooney gave up just one hit and one walk before turning the game over to Jordan Leasure with two outs in the eighth.

With a runner at first, Leasure surrendered a walk before an error loaded the bases. The right-hander got one of the biggest outs of the night by striking out Shrum to end the threat.

In the ninth, pinch hitter Jimmy Govern singled with one out, but Leasure struck out the next two batters to close out the win that gave the TulsaSound a perfect 1-0 record and kept Tulsa's division title hopes alive.


*Frasso was removed with two outs in the top of the first inning after throwing 34 pitches. He was charged with three runs on two hits and two walks.

*Thanks to his 4.1 scoreless innings, Gamboa picked up another victory. The lefthander is now 7-0 on the season and 18-4 in his Tulsa career. The seven victories are tied for second-most in the Texas League.

*John Rooney surrendered a two-out single to Parker Bates in the seventh inning and promptly picked him off first base before throwing another pitch. It was the lefthander's fifth pickoff of the season and his 22nd over the last two seasons. Rooney has allowed just one earned run since May 23.

*Leasure is now a perfect seven for seven in save opportunities. The seven saves are the most in the Texas League.

*Offensively, the TulsaSound had six hits in the game but none after the third inning.


The Drillers will continue their series with the Naturals on Friday night at ONEOK Field with the fourth game of the six-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and the starting pitchers are slated to be:

NWA - LHP Angel Zerpa (MLB Rehab Assignment)

TUL- RHP Kyle Hurt (2-2, 3.89 ERA)

Images from this story

TulsaSound's Alec Gamboa on the mound
TulsaSound's Alec Gamboa on the mound

(Rich Crimi)

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